Welsh firefighters support 'overwhelmed' Greek fire service as they battle wildfires

A firefighter from South Wales has told ITV Wales how the Greek fire service are "overstretched" tackling the ongoing wildfires.

Craig Hope, the Station Manager for South Wales Fire & Rescue Service, is one of four Welsh firefighters with specialist wildfire knowledge, who have flown to Greece to volunteer their services.

He told ITV Wales that the welcome he had from the Greek locals has been fantastic considering the turmoil they have been through.

The fire, which began on 3 August, is the most severe of dozens that have broken out across Greece in the past week, after the country was hit by its worst heatwave in three decades.

British teams sent to Greece to help tackle wildfires Credit: AP

The wildfires have decimated thousands of homes and livelihoods.

Craig explained the fire service is clearly overwhelmed: "There's a lot of fires and it's very hot, very windy and they're overwhelmed. So that's where we've come in to help.

"And, it's important that when you offer assistance, you're not being a burden to the system."

Wildfires burning in Greece can be seen from space Credit: EU Copernicus

Craig and the British crews have been deployed mainly within rural areas and are working to protect individual houses, ensuring that they are not damaged if the fire starts again.

"Obviously, there's a lot of devastation, a lot of property very damaged, people are very upset but the welcoming locals is fantastic and that's the same for all the international helpers here you know we're all working together to try and solve this problem"

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: "As a service we are proud to continue a long tradition of providing support to colleagues across the world and all our thoughts are with those affected by this tragedy."

It is not yet clear how long Craig and the other firefighters from South Wales will be in Greece but he is hopeful the situation will be brought under control soon.