I decided last week to get out of the city for a couple of days and visit friends who are camping in Halkidiki. Well, two days turned into five as I realised that I had the choice of camping out in the woods next to a beautiful beach or sweat out a heat wave and 40c+ temperatures in the city. A no-brainer is, I think, the technical term for it.
I heard from other campers there that the neighbouring area had been badly damaged by a forest fire, (see here for the story) and it's a shame that so much of the countryside has been destroyed. However, all we saw of it was smoke blowing over from the west.
The problem is that at this time of year Greek forests are like a tinder box, very dry and subject to strong, dry winds.In such circumstances it doesn't take much to start a serious fire. In most situations like this people suspect arson as once the forests have been burnt down the land can be used to build holiday homes. However, given people's love of barbecues and cigarettes, carelessness on the part of some visitor is an equally likely explanation.