Monday, March 27, 2023

Forest fire rescue force west of Athens

ATHENS ( Associated Press) — Greek firefighters were battling a raging wildfire Tuesday that forced the evacuation of a small town west of Athens, the latest in a series of blizzard-driven wildfires Which has flown into parts of Greece.

More than 130 firefighters and volunteers, assisted by 10 tanker planes, were battling the blaze around noon Tuesday near the coastal city of Porto Germeno, 70 kilometers (44 miles) west of Athens, the department said.

As a precaution, the village of Mytikas was ordered to be evacuated, but there were no reports of casualties or major damage to property.

Officials said strong wind, which kept changing direction, was hindering the extinguishing of the flames. The Meteorological Service expressed hope for the wind to subside overnight.

Firefighters were on high alert in many parts of the country on Tuesday amid forecasts of high wildfire risk. Two other fires were burning in the southern region of the Peloponnese. The fire service said it had dealt with more than 300 bushfires in the past week.

Early Tuesday, firefighters were able to control another large fire that was threatening a large area of ​​olive groves near the city of Itia in central Greece, forcing the evacuation of some homes. Out of about 5,500 hectares (13,600 acres) an area of ​​about 300 hectares (740 acres) of olive groves were burned. The archaeological area adjacent to Delphi was not in danger.

Additionally, a fire on Monday forced the sea evacuation of 73 residents of a hotel on a beach near Kranidi, northeast of Peloponnese. No one was reported to be injured.

Greece suffers from devastating wildfires every summer. In 2018, a fire broke out at the Mati seaside resort east of Athens, killing more than 100 people. Since then, authorities have focused on organizing rapid and preventive evacuations from inhabited areas under threat.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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