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Greek villagers mount vigil to save homes as wildfires burn for eighth day

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Residents mounted a round-the-clock watch on Tuesday to try to save their homes from wildfires ravaging the Greek island of Evia as the government defended its handling of the crisis.

Greek fire crews, backed by foreign firefighters and volunteers, battled flare-ups on Greece’s second-largest island, where fires were burning for an eighth day. Other fronts in the Peloponnese also reignited, and authorities ordered the evacuation of 20 more villages in the region of Arkadia.

The government announced relief measures for those who have lost homes and property, but some villagers said they could not leave their houses to the flames that have turned the skies a deep red.

“Police came and told us to evacuate the village of Avgaria but we cannot, this is our property. We cannot let our homes burn,” said Ioannis Aggelopoulos, 55, who owns a car body shop at Istiaia, on the island’s northern tip.

“We have been sleeping in shifts.”

Residents used hoses to put out fires burning near their homes and helped firefighters and volunteers.

via Reuters