Evia Wildfires in the Summer of 2021 and the Milky Way
The summer of 2021 was marked by the fire in Evia, Greece’s second-largest island. It was described as one of the greatest ecological disasters in Greek history because it is estimated that over 50,000 hectares of forest burned. The fire began on August 3 in Central Evia. The fire burned everything in its path for ten days in a row. For days, residents, volunteers, and firefighters fought the fire nonstop. The images posted online were reminiscent of the Apocalypse.
I was on vacation at the time in our Halkidiki country house. I frequently go out at night to photograph the Milky Way. One of those nights, I was driving around in my car, looking for an interesting subject to photograph. I noticed a bright laser light in the sky, most likely from a conference center, that I thought would look cool in front of the Milky Way core. So I parked my car and prepared my camera to take some photos. When the first image on my camera’s lcd screen appeared, I noticed a large red mark across the sea. I was taken aback when I realized this was the Evia wildfire.
After a while, as my eyes grew accustomed to the darkness, I was able to see the fire with my own eyes. Massive flames were filling the night sky. I spent the next few hours photographing in awe the Milky Way rising over the wildfire.
In this image, you can see the Pelion villages, the fire in Evia, and the Milky Way running vertically between them.
Moments like these make you realize how insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things, and how we are destroying this beautiful tiny blue dot we call home. Unfortunately, many wildfires are raging across Greece and Southern Europe again this year, in the summer of 2022. Climate change, human negligence, and arsonists are to blame. We must take action before it is too late.
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