Youth campers are evacuated to the beach in the middle of the night.
A major forest fire in Greece came within a few meters of destroying Camp Kalamos, the Adventist Youth campsite in Greece, on the night of August 13. The camp is located in a beautiful forested area on the coast, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Athens.
Campers were evacuated to the beach as strong winds fanned flames within 300 meters of the site. Calls for prayer went out as church leaders monitored the situation.
Morning light revealed just how close the fire came overnight. [Photo: Trans-European Division News]
One of the fire engines stayed on the campsite in case the wind changes and the fires returns. [Photo: Trans-European Division News]
Forest fire near Adventist Camp Kalamos, in Greece, during the early hours of August 14. [Photo: Trans-European Division News]
At 3:00 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 a 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.”
As of August 14 morning, a fire engine remains at the site for safety reasons. Six Adventist church members are also on site monitoring the situation. 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.
Today, church leaders and youth are expressing thanks for what they believe are answered prayers, while expressing their sorrow and concern for those in the area who have lost property and personal belongings.