The Fires That Raged on This Greek Island Are Out. Now Northern Evia Faces a Long Road to Recovery

The flames, fueled by the worst heatwave in 30 years, devoured a third of the island’s pine forests and olive groves. Residents worry about their livelihoods, and many blame the Greek government.

EVIA ISLAND, Greece—From the backyard of their house in the northern part of Greece’s Evia Island, Vasiliki and Ioannis Tertipis used to look out on pine forest that stretched from the mountains down to the Aegean Sea. Now all they see is charred remains, the acres of pine and olive trees they own in ruin.

The fires in northern Evia started in August and raged for 10 days, burning hundreds of thousands of acres. And although the flames have now been extinguished, in many ways the Tertipis’ problems have just begun. If they plant new olive trees, it will take at least five years before the trees become productive. And pine trees need to grow for at least 20 years before the resin can be collected.

The couple worry about their financial stability in the coming years, and they blame the Greek government for the destruction spread out before them.

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