Greece wildfires force further evacuations and night-long battles

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Firefighters and water-dropping aircraft have been battling for several days to contain a large wildfire in southern Greece that forced evacuations and night-long battles to save homes.

Seven villages and a summer camp have been evacuated since the fire broke out on Wednesday. It has started at the seaside settlement of Kechries, near the town of Corinth, around 80 kilometres southwest of Athens and rapidly spread inland.

Euronews reports that the blaze has seriously damaged or destroyed around 10 homes. Farmland, pine and olive trees have also been burned. No casualties have been reported as a 1,000 firefighters and volunteers battled to control the spread of the fire. Wildfires are common in Greece during the summer months. The blaze near Corinth comes just two years after one of the worst wildfires in European history killed 102 people in the towns of Mati and Kokkino Limanaki, near Athens.

Greek City Times that another blaze started on Wednesday afternoon in a forested area in the Lasionos region of Ancient Olympia, in the Peloponnese. Thirty-four fire fighters, 14 fire engines and a team of fire-fighters on foot, assisted by local authority water tankers, two fire-fighting airplanes and one helicopter, extinguished the fire. The situation with the fire in Petalidi, the southwestern region of Messinia, “looks better”, the Fire Brigade said. Authorities evacuated the settlement of Mathia earlier in the day for precautionary reasons. Fifty-one firefighters with 17 fire trucks, 2 ground units, 5 airplanes and 3 helicopters battled the fire. The wildfire that broke out on Wednesday afternoon in Crete is still only partially contained, according to authorities.

It started in a plot between two hotels in the municipality of Agios Vassileios of Rethymno. Some 30 firefighters with 14 fire engines and one helicopter managed to contain the blaze, assisted by municipal water cannons and Red Cross volunteers.

Greek City Times

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