Following a severe wildfire season in Albania that saw more than 3,000 hectares of land destroyed in July and August, several new blazes have been reported around the country.
In Polican, a large fire has been observed near the village of Vertop, in an area filled with olive trees. It’s reported the fire was started deliberately. Strong winds have spread the fire to a nearby hill, which has made it difficult for emergency services to access the area.
Another fire has been reported in Plana, Lezhe County. It’s believed to have started on a farm, but has since spread to a large area on the nearby mountains. Again, strong winds have fanned the flames and further escalated the fire.
In Lazarat in the south of the country, a fire has engulfed a hilly region around Kordhoca. The blaze has since been brought under control following the arrival of fire crews.
The sheer number and veracity of wildfires in the country this year raised a number of questions regarding preparedness from the authorities.
The government has been made aware that they are severely lacking preparedness, equipment, volunteer firefighters, and various other measures since as far back as 2013. Additionally, the government hasn’t undertaken any preventative measures in high-risk areas, nor engaged in any awareness campaigns with the public.