The Greek university committee of forestry and safety engineering experts presented their report regarding fires in Greece.

Created following the tragic July 23 wildfire that swept through the coastal resort of Mati that claimed 100 lives, the panel of experts found that Greece is “excessively dependent on aerial fire-fighting and suffers from lack of coordination.” Cooperation was particularly lacking between the fire brigade and forestry service.

The panel found that 45 authorities would need to be coordinated in a common framework for Greece to be more efficient in dealing with emergencies. The report found that the problem caused by fires would increase without the proper management. Furthermore, the millions of euros spent on fire-fighting equipment were not found to be effective enough to eliminate the dangers of fires. 

July’s disaster showed a lack of organisation and waste of time due to infighting between the police and fire brigade. Local residents had received no warning and, instead of being diverted from the fire zone, many drivers had mistakenly been sent into it.

The report found that greater efficiency rather than more equipment is needed in order to have the optimum response and reduce dangers caused by wildfires.

The panel of experts from leading universities of Greece had been created at the initiative of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras following the devastating fires last July.