Greece: Large forest fire forces evacuations west of Athens

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ATHENS, Greece – Greek firefighters battled a major wildfire that forced the evacuation of a small village west of Athens, the latest in a series of wildfires that broke out as high winds swept across several parts of Greece.

The fire service said more than 130 firefighters and volunteers, supported by 10 water-repellent aircraft, were battling to contain the blaze that broke out near the coastal town of Porto Germeno, 70 kilometers (44 miles) west of Athens, on Tuesday midday.

The evacuation of Mytikas village was ordered as a precaution, but there were no reports of injuries or property damage.

Authorities said strong winds, which kept changing direction, hampered firefighting efforts. The weather service said the wind is expected to ease in the evening.

Firefighters were on high alert in several parts of the country on Tuesday as wildfire risks were forecast to be high. Two other blazes burned in the southern Peloponnese region. The fire service said it has treated more than 300 wildfires in the past week.

Early Tuesday, firefighters were able to contain a large blaze that threatened a large area of ​​olive groves near the town of Itea on the plain below the ancient site of Delphi in central Greece, forcing some home evacuations. Approximately 300 hectares (740 acres) of the roughly 5,500 hectares (13,600 acres) of olive acreage were burned. The ancient site was not in danger.

Also, a fire on Monday forced the evacuation of 73 hotel guests by sea from a beach near Kranidi in the northeastern Peloponnese. No injuries were reported.

Greece suffers from devastating forest fires every summer. In 2018, more than 100 people died in a fire in the seaside resort of Mati, east of Athens. Since then, authorities have focused on the rapid, precautionary evacuation of threatened inhabited areas. Greece: Large forest fire forces evacuations west of Athens

Dustin Huang

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