Wednesday , December 11 2019
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Fire in Agalas/Keri and Lithakia area

Original report 10am Greek time

In the last hour a large fire has started and is well alight in the forest area close to the village of Agalás in Lithakia. Residents are now being ordered to evacuate as a precaution.

The islands fire service are on the scene and air support had also been requested to help put it out. Air support have just arrived on the scene with witnesses stating between 4-6 helicopters flying towards the site.

Four aeroplanes have now been confirmed as arriving on site, loading from the sea to drop water directly from above onto the fire.

The fire is producing a lot of smoke with flames on the hilltop, visible not only from the bay of Laganas but also from Zakynthos Town too. Zakynthos Mayor Nikitis Aretakis is on location in Agalas, at the fire front and helping authorities to co-ordinate the effort of the prevention of fire spread and damage to local areas.

Update – 2pm Greek time

The fire is now being fought on two fronts. The Vice Governor of Zakynthos Mr. George Stasinopoulos is currently there at one of the fire fronts. The islands fire fighters are attempting to stop the fire reaching Keri. At present one of the fire fronts are threatening a farm house in the area of Floro.  Meanwhile the second fire front has reached the mining area Xifita and is moving towards the solar panels located in fields nearby.

KTEL bus service is also on standby with a bus situated at Agalas for prevention reasons, for evacuation purposes if needed. We do have reports of an abandoned building in one of the fronts succumbing to one of the fire fronts, at present there is no further damage to property.

Update – 4pm Greek time.

The fire is being fanned by high winds and is now in the areas of Keri, Lithakia and Agalas. As a precaution The authorities have ordered the evacuation of Agalas and Keri villages and locals have been informed. The evacuation is taking place with help from KTEL buses.

Please avoid travelling in these areas and obey Instructions by authorities.

Update – 6pm Greek time

We have just learned that despite doing the best they could a house in Keri has been lost to the fire and burnt down. The house, close to a hotel is at present the only habitable building to have been confirmed as destroyed but as a precaution the hotels guest have also been evacuated.

Firefighters and volunteers, are still working both in land and above to try and stop the fire spreading. 

Authorities have now put Emergency traffic regulations place because of the fire and the information is as follows:

Vehicles should avoid Keri especially at Lithakia junction of Zakynthos/Keri.

They should also avoid Agalas especially the Zakynthos Koi cross roads. Lake Keri should also be avoided. The road by the taverna in Lithakia is also closed.  Authorities have requested that all these areas not be travelled to. It is necessary so that emergency vehicles can get through as well as for public safety. Road closures may change or be added to so please ensure you follow the instructions of the authorities.

Latest update – 9pm Greek time

Firemen are still on scene fighting the blaze and a number of other fire officers and engines thought  to total over ten vehicles have now arrived on the island from Kyllini.

There has also been a message from the fire department via the Ionian Echo, asking that people drop off canned food, fruit, water and other drinks at the fire station as the firefighters desperately need it. It’s estimated that there are around 111 firefighters now working on bringing the fires under control.

This will be our last update for this evening. More information will come tomorrow. Please keep our brave firefighters and the island in your thoughts tonight and we hope to have some positive news for you all tomorrow.

Videos from Informer team member Louise Inzk

View from the sea courtesy of Dan Candish

Photo courtesy of Spiros Patrinos

View from Limni Keri courtesy of Shauna Carson

 

View across Laganas courtesy of Aless Jo

View from the bay courtesy of Stephen Pidgeon

A huge thanks to our Zakynthos Informer members who have supplied images for the post.

More news follows when we get it.

About Chrissie Parker

Chrissie Parker joined the Zakynthos Informer Team in 2014. Chrissie’s first experience of the island was a combined birthday and wedding celebration, in true Zakynthian style. Since then she has been able to combine her love of the island, including its incredible history, tradition and culture, with her love of writing.

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32 comments

  1. Hi, we are staying in Kalamaki, should we be worried?

  2. Any news?

    • A new post will be coming soon. Some of the area is still alight but crews are working hard to contain the fire and aerial support has been operational since 6.30am this morning.

  3. Just back from Alykanas, I know not near where fire is. My thoughts and prayers are with all in Zakynthos. Hope the fires are under control soon. 🙏

  4. Any news, as I have family on holiday there at the moment.

    • A new post will be coming soon. Some of the area is still alight but crews are working hard to contain the fire and aerial support has been operational since 6.30am this morning.

      • I am due to stay at Keri Village next week. The travel agent have said they will confirm if the hotel is affected but I am concerned by reports

        • Hi Samantha, at present we don’t know the full extent of damage to the Keri area. We will update when we get it. Tour operators will be working closely with accommodation owners, so please keep speaking to your tour operator.

  5. Hello Chrissie!
    Have you got any news about Vassilikos? Are there any fire or smoke?
    Thanks Gery

  6. It’s been 2.5hrs uk time since you said a new update would be posted, is there any news?!
    My parents were staying at the Keri Plaza that was evacuated and awaiting their belongings to be collected…
    Please let us know as soon as possible as I cannot get hold of them now as their phones have died due to not having chargers and only having beach stuff with them for more than 24hrs!!
    thank you

    • Hi Charlotte, we have no other information at present. As soon as we get it, it will be published on this site. Please keep checking.
      If your parents booked either with a tour company or the hotel directly then contact them as they will be able to help you.
      Failing that you can contact the British Consulate – there is one on Zakynthos, if you search in google you’ll be able to find their details.

      • thank you chrissie.
        I have managed to locate them and they are safe and just received their belongings from the Kiri hotel. Smokey but they’re at least all safe.
        Everyone’s efforts have been amazing by the sounds of it so for that we are very grateful from the UK!! thank you x

  7. Sorry to be a pain any update on location of fire etc. Many thanks

  8. We’re flying to Kalamaki 20 September. Are we to worry about fires?

    • You shouldn’t be worried, they do happen sometimes in Greece but the island has an excellent fire service and plans for such an event. Enjoy your holiday and don’t worry.

  9. Hi we are stopping vassilikos .the royal resort .we arrive 20 9 19.friday .is their any need for us to be worried .is ghe fore affecting vassilikos

  10. I’m coming out to Kalamaki on 25th, and have severe asthma. Would the smoke have reached there? I’ve ordered a mask from Amazon as a precaution

  11. Are you getting any help from the EU or other nations? We have forest fires far larger in Canada and it takes thousands of firefighters to put them out. Even then it is difficult.

    If you had more waterbombers, helicopters, and firefighters, would it help? have you appealed to other nations?

    Your island is a very special place that must be preserved at all costs. If I wanted to make a donation, who should I send it to?

    • When help is required it comes from neighbouring islands or the mainland. In regards to donations, it was good and drink required. No monetary donations.

  12. Keri Village is very special to myself and my partner. We hope there wasn’t anyone hurt and send our love to everyone there

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