A major forest fire in Greece, last night, came within a few meters of destroying the Adventist Youth campsite, Camp Kalamos. The camp is located in a beautiful forested area on the coast 31 miles or 50km north-east of Athens.
Campers were evacuated to the beach when strong winds fanned flames within 984 feet or 300 meters of the site. Calls for prayer went out as church leaders monitored the situation.
At 3 am local time, Greek Mission president, Claudio Gulyas wrote, “A couple of hours ago the camp area was in danger of burning up due to the strong fire in the surrounding area. As the fire was getting close to the camp, praise to God, one fire engine came in and after hard work, hand-in-hand with them, now the camp site is safe.”
Dean Papaioannou, whose family was staying at the site, reported that one of two fire fronts died completely while a third front went around the side of the camp and moved on. However, he said, “the fire is far from over. I can hear the shattering of glass as houses burn down.” The fire burned to within 30 feet or 10 meters of the site. IIt is reported a site belonging to another organization further up the hillside was completely destroyed.
As of August 14, a fire engine remains at the site for safety reasons. Six Adventist men are also on site monitoring the situation and will remain as long as needed.
Gulyas says there is a need to stay around the site just in case the fire should reignite due to a change in wind direction. Several small fires did reignite in the vicinity of the camp but were quickly dealt with. Meanwhile three helicopters and two planes have been working non-stop in daylight hours to help douse the flames with sea-water. The main fire is now on the far side of the mountain but a change in wind direction is blowing copious amounts of smoke across the campsite.
Today, church leaders and youth are expressing thanks for answered prayer while expressing their sorrow and concern for those many in the area who have lost property and personal belongings.