Alert near Athens. “Ground forces are fighting a real battle”


Fires have broken out one after another around Athens. Two new fires broke out Saturday, prompting local authorities to issue evacuation alerts. Gusty, dry winds have made it difficult to fight the flames.

Heat and drought in Greece have left nearly half of the country at a high risk of fire. Hot, windy conditions on Saturday sparked flames in about 50 new locations.

Multiple forces versus flames

Two major fires broke out on the outskirts of Athens on Saturday afternoon. North of the Greek capital, firefighters responded to the Parnita mountain range, where a fire was threatening a national park. Winds gusting up to 100 kilometres per hour were a challenge in the fight against the flames, but they eased slightly in the evening. 200 firefighters were on the scene, supported by helicopters.

“Numerous forces on the ground are fighting a real battle,” fire brigade spokesman Vasilis Vathrakogiannis said on Saturday during a press conference.

Residents of nearby towns have received alerts indicating that they may be asked to evacuate at any time, and that some roads leading to the mountains may be closed. The fire is not currently threatening residential buildings.

The second fire broke out near the town of Aspropyrgos in western Attica. The flames spread quickly, burning dry meadow plants and landfills. Residents of the village of Nea Zoi were ordered to evacuate to a safer location.

PAP, Reuters, eKathimerini


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