The press conference with the presence of journalists by the Deputy Minister of Civil Protection Nikos Hardalia at the Coordination Center of the Fire Brigade, in Chalandri.
Mr.. Hardalias also answers questions from journalists about the management of fires across the country in the last week.
It is reminded that the extraordinary updates of the Deputy Minister of Civil Protection lately, regarding the evolution of fire fronts, took place without journalistic coverage, which provoked reactions from opposition parties and ESIEA.
What he said about the fire in Evia
The Deputy Minister of Civil Protection pointed out that "we were called to deal with 586 fires in 8 days, from 1 to 8 August », while he also referred to how the aerial means worked.
The situation in Evia is all fronts in recession, we keep all ground forces on the perimeter of the fire, aerial attack is difficult because visibility is low.
He also referred to the loss of the machine operator yesterday in Fokida:. "Yesterday we lost another fighter, machine operator, our thought is with his family, we remain vigilant ".
"Why did they not see firefighting planes in the sky"
We have 74 aerial means. There is a perception that they are flying at the same time. From these 74, the 67 is firefighting, the rest are coordinators, staff transfer. From 67 regularly 6 with 7 have maintenance. From 60 where the 20 remain at regional bases. In other words, we have the helicopter in Kavala to deal with a possible fire in Dadia. Even if we took a risk, the distance alone means that even with refueling it would take two hours. Is 20 peripherally in 12 bases to preserve these areas. From 40 that remain do not fly all together, at each exit they fly almost half and the rest are refueled to fly afterwards. So we say that 20 of these are in the air. I understand what is heard, because the inhabitants did not see them. This is the image of Evia (ss shows picture with fire mushroom), the smoke does not allow the aerial to fly. As of yesterday, no aircraft could pass through Evia. At 2 at noon yesterday a passage opened, two helicopters passed by, then closed again. In the afternoon opened another two passages passed 2 M-8. It is dangerous for pilots to fly blind. The fire creates a microclimate. To fly the aerial, need to ensure how they approach, where they will throw and how they will leave. If all three are not met, no throwing is done.
"We were faced with an unprecedented situation. We had 586 fires from 1 August to 8 August. We had to deal with a three-digit number of fires every day ".
"Obviously we had prepared for the fires"
In the question of Nikos Maroulidis for the iefimerida “On 15 In June we said we were ready for future crises, today, after what happened, how ready we were finally;», Nikos Hardalias answered as follows:
"At 15 June 80 seasonal scales were developed. The 2.500 seasonal from 5 May was in place. All leases were at their base and the ministries took the initiative to see the situation prevailing for a program of urgent clean-ups involving 21 points.
18 in Attica, the Sheikh Su, Ancient Olympia and Tatoi.
If in Hippocratic State we had not done the cleaning, the fire would run and we could not stop it in Malakasa.
If we had not done the cleaning in Thrakomakedones we would have lost four times as many houses.
If we had not done the cleaning in Tatoi we could not stop it.
Obviously we were prepared
We received 51 inside we did it 74 because we saw what was coming. What has not been done for decades now has been done for those two years.
Each country prepares for a large number of events.
We had to deal with a great heat wave and a sequence of incidents unique in the history of firefighting.
For surveillance on 3 August
"The country has invested in air-tractors for the first time. Every day we have aerial surveillance and usually on 11 in Attica the two tractors get up and patrol. The previous one they had 11 with 2:30 noon surveillance, then they land and after about an hour of refueling they get up again. That morning we were given the 5 canard on unavailability. The temperature peak was at 3 with 3:30. If we got up on 11 tractors means that at that time of heat they would go down for refueling. We therefore ordered them to come out on 2. Our fire was announced on 13:22.
At 13:25 the tractors were ordered to take off. They took water from Lake Marathon and 44 minutes later they made the first throws. At the same time, Aphrodite Tatoiou received an order 13:26 got out of the tank and on 13:40 had made the first throw. But the fire was not caught because it was in a rough solid forest. I also hear the talk of apnea. The Tatoi meteorological station gave (at some point on the 3rd of August) 45 km, 6 Beaufort bursts. And one can not refer to the average of the day which was two beauforts.
When was the European Civil Protection Agency activated?
Activated the same day. We were fully aware at night that the fronts are extremely difficult. At 21:30 at night we activated the mechanism, after a phone call. All this is at the disposal of anyone. What are we late for; We implemented the protocol to the end. The whole state mechanism was activated. We are grateful for the response of all these people. There was no delay.
For the fire in Evia
For Evia - The country can only face two fronts: it was 8 large fires. We faced 99 fires in one day. The whole mechanism was activated. We did not degrade any fire. If you see at night how the fire has developed with gusts 6 Beaufort in Evia, in the morning the situation was unreal. For the first time, licenses were revoked. Every house that is lost, every man who fights for his life and loses it for us is a knife. It was necessary to save human lives. The front in Evia 23 kilometers were moving uncontrollably. We were there, all the forces were there and were constantly increasing. All our staff was available. Some were to watch the fronts. I hear criticism that there were fire brigades in the settlements, they saw the fire and did not attempt. Those who stayed behind me to save people. Our main concern is human life, then human property and finally as much as it hurts to say the natural environment.
"It cannot be heard that the evacuations were given incorrectly"
Evacuations helped or left unprotected areas;: How self-evident is the issue of evacuations?;
When you have a situation with uncontrollable fronts everywhere the major issue is human life. It cannot be heard that the evacuations were given incorrectly. There is a model and we know when a fire is approaching and it is dangerous. I am grateful for the residents who stayed with the firefighters and fought. The 112 the absolute legacy of the country's shield.
"My resignation is on the Prime Minister's drawer"
I do not know if there is an organized issue of arson. My resignation is on the Prime Minister's drawer because I am called every day to fight and make difficult decisions concerning human life.. I always had a sense of duty and I always took responsibility . My resignation is in the prime minister's drawer. I do not want to make a career as a politician, I will not be a candidate somewhere. The task of cooperating on these issues is patriotic. Every home lost to all of us is a tragedy and a knife to our hearts. There has been a huge battle these days. All these days we were awake, guiding the children of the fire brigade of the port, a battle that was the most difficult ever. During the battle some people shoot the fighters. In this catastrophe the losses are on the part of the fighters and not of the civilians.
These are the capabilities of the state mechanism;
Obviously there is no satisfaction after such a disaster. All forces were immediately involved in the events. It is certain that by closing this whole process there will be a valuation. The Prime Minister's mandate is clear: research at every level. If necessary, responsibilities will be assigned. This is non-negotiable. It is our deposit for the next day. Our country was stronger than ever. We will do the self-criticism we do every time. Until now, there was a logic that when we have happened, the nearest patrol car leaves, to do the verification. This doctrine has changed.
Evia is burning for the 8th day - What would you change?;
The general command has the general command center. The image you show is many points from one point. At the same time we see the whole impression and where our fire engines are. It is not easy in a business center to have five big fires and hear the crews operating, to listen to their anguish. It is not easy to judge an entire business plan from one corner of an area. The possibilities we have are excellent. With much respect to your anguish, some back manage at the same time 3.500 firefighters, 1150 vehicles depending on what is happening in each area. The choice is not easy. The choices we made while managing 586 fires in 8 days, with 65 evacuation alarms, saved lives. The 112 we are not just sending a message,. It is a whole process, the wrong decision can kill. To host you in the center to see how the evacuation is done. We give our best. The occurrence of fires and the data chronicles in any case may raise reasonable questions. Management was based on priorities. We had to fight not to lose Ancient Olympia.
Which person gave the orders;
It is not a matter of face. The way we moved saved lives. So given that these people had to protect our fellow human beings, they did so with this in mind.. We can not on the one hand say how good our firefighters are and on the other hand shoot the fire department. This conjuncture has never existed. I will say it again. Every house that is lost, every person who suffers for us is a knife.
There has been a discussion in the government about the model of forest protection;
Those of us who have dealt with what we call mountain, Woods, for decades there have been no management plans for our forests. The forest when abandoned when it is not alive will create conditions that no one can save.
The issue of resource allocation. The 1,7 twice concerns 39 interventions in 4 axes one of which is the issue of prevention, educational. Fire engines will open where they need to open. The Prime Minister, Michalis Chrysochoidis on 15 July announce the program 300 millions for the next 5 years concerning the opening of fire engines.
For the forest offices
I have immense respect for what the forest authorities do. When there are some who have to keep it and do not do it, we as Civil Protection can not wait. The process of doing the studies, to leave the studies, so far. Our forests are burning without a plan. This is the first time we have a plan that was developed before this happened.
What different would you do;
How is it possible to have a design that only deals with evacuations. The second stage is to save the houses. What was wrong. We saved lives. We shipped vehicles directly. In Afidnes the battles were inside the houses. What we need to do is defuse the front with less property losses.
Because the prime minister apologized;
The state mechanism did what is humanly possible. But we are not satisfied after such a catastrophe. The Prime Minister is shocked by what has happened and we all feel the need to apologize to the people who lost their lives.. I gave you the data. Whether we could do it better is an issue we will evaluate.