Fire protection in Greece

What is missing?

Greece emerges as ineffective compared to peers in coping with forest fires

Greece over the period 2008-2017 had had a below the average number of fires per 1,000 Ha of non-urban land but the largest area burnt per forest fire, at27.94 Ha.


Greece appears to have a good prevention, but a poor firefighting record amongst its South European peers.

  • Greece is spending below the average amongst Southern EU countries for overall fire protection per 1,000 Ha of non urban land
  • Climatic differences is the largest single determining factor of the frequency of forest fires but not of their extent. Greece suffers more fire damage than its climatic conditions and government spending would imply
  • The quantity and mix of resources appears to have a bearing on the effect of fires, with mechanised fire protection achieving more. Greece is partially under-resourced in mechanical firefighting means, and overall ineffective in fire protection
  • There are strong indications that political events severely affect the effectiveness of firefighting in Greece. The impact difference can be attributed to the “relaxation” of the firefighting mechanism in the pre and immediate post election period

There is a need to establish a new set of policies and rules to reduce the extent of the fires

  • Creation a centre of excellence for fire protection
  • Adoption of fire simulation models to predict the course and velocity of fire
  • Emphasis on remote monitoring along with physical patrolling of non urban areas
  • Social media system to report fires and disseminate information

  • Improvement of the operational capabilities of the fire department to deal with each fire during first critical minutes
  • Unified command at the level of fire incident to improve the speed of reaction
  • Improvement of the cooperation and communication of all the responsible bodies
  • Rational use of reserve resources to ensure critical mass at any fire incident
  • Optimal distribution of permanent firefighting resources in non urban areas
  • Drafting of new, complete and implementable evacuation plans for semi-urban areas
  • Properly and systematically selected and trained reserve firefighters

  • Single firefighting force at the regional level independent of local authorities and fully empowered to save life and property
  • Single national fire protection monitoring and coordination centre linked with equivalent regional ones
  • Increased spending on fire protection by 50% over the next five years
  • Make fire insurance compulsory in urban and semi urban areas
  • Rent forest and non urban land for mild productive uses with fire prevention as compensation

Contact us

Olympia Liami

Manager, Market Research, PwC Greece

Tel: +30 210 6874458

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