Wildfire near Athens forces evacuation of seaside resorts


ATHENS-A wildfire broke out near Athens on Monday as a heatwave grips the country, firefighters said, with several seaside resorts ordered to evacuate as a precaution.

The blaze started in Kouvaras, 50 kilometres (30 miles) southeast of Athens. “It’s a difficult fire, the winds are really strong” with gusts reaching up to 60 kilometres (37 miles) per hour,” said Yannis Artopios, a firefighters’ spokesman.

Greece, along with Italy and Spain, has been gripped by a heatwave since last week, with temperatures reaching 44C (111 Fahrenheit) in the centre of the country.

Seven water-bombing aircraft, four helicopters and 150 firemen backed by 30 colleagues from Romania were fighting the flames on two fronts, local media reported.

The blaze burnt quickly through brush and spread south toward the Attica region and the resorts of Lagonissi, Anavyssos and Saronida.
Thick smoke blocked traffic on the roads around Kalyvia.__The Nation