From: Exit Staff
Wildfires Rage Across Albania, Olive Trees and Vineyards Destroyed

Large swathes of Albania have been engulfed in flames over the weekend as fires rage in Kruje, Elbasan, Lezhe, and Erseke.

In Kruja, large blazes were reported near the village of Halil and above the village of Arrameras. While property is not currently at risk, the fires are fanned by moderate wind. Two firefighting teams, one from Kruja and one from Tirana, were on the scene.

In Elbasan, a large area of olive trees known as Ullishtja is currently on fire. Thousand of olive trees have been destroyed so far as citizens were unable to reduce the severity of the fire. The opposition Democratic Party criticised a lack of inaction from the government and said residents should not have to put their lives at risk to fight the blaze.

“Terrible! Hundreds, if not thousands, of olive roots, the green crown of Elbasan, an entire national asset with multiple values, continues to burn mercilessly, despite the alarms raised everywhere. No intervention, no measure. May God have mercy and bring some rain!” said opposition deputy for Elbasan, Luciano Boci.

In Erseke, in the southeast of the country, a fire is burning in a forest area, again being fought by members of the public with the fire brigade. It is believed the fire was started intentionally.

In Lezhe, vineyards are also burning, and the Bishop of Reshen, Dom Gjergji Meta, published photos of the devastation and called on the government to send air assistance to fight it.