The Cypriot firefighting mission in Greece relocated to a “large and dangerous” front in Evros on Sunday.

The 31-member team travelled to Alexandroupolis on Sunday together with the Special Forest Operations Unit, Fire Service’s spokesman, Andreas Kettis, wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

They will operate in the area of Tris Vryses near the community of Soufli. There they will join the Greek fire brigade staff on a “large and dangerous active front”

The spokesman added that the Consulate of Cyprus in Thessaloniki has contacted the justice ministry and is in direct contact with the Cypriot mission for any support.

The mission will be staying at the police school of Didymoteicho, Kettis said earlier.

The news came following an improvement in the area of Grammatikou where the team was relocated to on Saturday. The team had moved there after battling fires in Parnitha when it arrived on Friday.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, one of the two groups of the 31-member mission paid tribute in memory of the 121 victims of the 2005 Helios plane crash. The team was led by fire service chief Christoforos Stylianou.

It is understood the team did so on their own initiative, right after another team came to replace them.

“On their way to rest, in an area adjacent to the area where they were operating in Grammatikos, they spotted on a hill the small chapel built next to the ravine where the aircraft crashed,” the spokesman said.

helios firefighters

Greece has recorded some 517 wildfires that had broken out across Greece since last Friday, fuelled by high temperatures and in some cases gale force winds.

The flames have been described as the largest recorded wildfire on European soil in years by the EU-backed Copernicus Climate Change Service.

“Greece is going through the most difficult year, in terms of climatic conditions, in the history of recording and collecting meteorological data,” government spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis told a regular briefing.

The blaze has killed 19 migrants who were charred “beyond recognition” in one part of the forest close to Turkey. More are feared to be dead. Tens of thousands of hectares of land have been destroyed in the northeast alone.

While summer wildfires are common in Greece, the government says conditions, which scientists link to climate change have made them more intense this year.

Germany, Sweden, Croatia and Cyprus sent aircraft, while dozens of Romanian, French, Czech, Bulgarian and Albanian firefighters have been assisting on the ground.

Cyprus has also sent a 31-person mission comprised by 13 members of the fire service, 13 from Civil Defence, and a five-member HART Special Situations Response Team of the Ambulance Directorate of the state health services organisation.