Greek fires a tragedy, but not a suprise
Homes built haphazardly among the pines, no evacuation plan, poorly organised emergency services hit hard by austerity: the deadly wildfires around Athens this week may have shocked Greece but few environment experts are surprised.
For forestry expert Nikos Bokaris, the region of Mati on Greece's Attic coast where one of the blazes began had all the ingredients for a disaster of this scale.
He said the congested nature of buildings set among pine trees, along with poor access to some properties, made a devastating forest fire nearly inevitable.
"The pines were old, very tall and wide, all the necessary fuel for the flames to swell and spread. That creates a huge thermal mass," Bokaris told AFP.
Greece has been experiencing a hot summer, and wind gusts of up to 100 kilometres-per-hour helped the fire swarm through the bone-dry forest at devastating speed.
Tsipras said the weather conditions had worsened the blaze, something which geographer and natural disaster expert Kostis Kalambokidis tentatively agreed with.
"We know full well that climate change is creating more and more extreme weather conditions," he said.
But weather, it bears pointing out, can be forecast.