Wildfires force evacuations near Athens

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Photo: royanews.tv
ATHENS. KAZINFORM Greek firefighters were battling wildfires on Monday near Kouvaras, a settlement some 30 km southeast of Athens, as well as in the vicinity of the seaside resort of Loutraki, about 80 km southwest of the capital, and at two other locations, Xinhua reports.

No injuries have been reported, but the blazes have caused significant property damage. At least five settlements, along with a number of popular coastal resorts, in the southeastern administrative region of Attica had to be evacuated.

The police arrested an unidentified person on suspicion of arson, the Greek national news agency AMNA reported.

At least 210 firefighters assisted by 10 aircraft and six helicopters were trying for hours to control the 12-km blaze in southeastern Attica, it said.

Near Loutraki, another team of over 300 firefighters assisted by helicopters and airplanes were deployed. However, their efforts were hampered by strong winds measuring up to 8 on the Beaufort scale.

A total of 81 wildfires have broken out across Greece since Sunday, but four blazes were the most challenging for the fire fighting forces, Fire Service spokesperson Ionannis Artopoios told AMNA.

The first major fires raging near Athens this summer came following the first heatwave of the season. Meteorologists have warned that the weather conditions are expected to remain difficult on Tuesday. Strong winds and a second heatwave are forecast for later this week.


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