Wildfires continue to rage across Greece, threatening northern suburbs in Athens


Wildfires continued to wreak havoc across Greece, threatening some northern suburbs in the capital Athens, local media reported Tuesday.

A fire that broke out around noon in the town of Fyli, located 25 kilometers (16 miles) from Athens city center, continued to burn uncontrollably and expanded in many directions, leading to the evacuation of numerous settlements in the area, said public broadcaster ERT.

It added that the main front of the fire is approaching Mount Parnitha, where a Greek Air Force radar base is located.

In the town of Aspropyrgos, located 16 kilometers (10 miles) northwest of downtown Athens and which hosts a major industrial zone, a fire destroyed or severely damaged many factories.

The fire also forced the evacuation of at least three settlements in the area and the suspension of train service in some sections.

In the northeastern port city of Alexandroupolis, a fire raged for a fourth day.

Dozens of settlements and a hospital were evacuated and measures were taken to evacuate the city itself if needed.

Meanwhile, National Fire Service spokesperson Yiannis Artophios said a total of 93 wildfires occurred in the last 24 hours, most of which were dealt with immediately at their initial stage.

He added that more help from the European Union in the scope of its Civil Protection Mechanism will be arriving in the country soon.

This would include firefighting planes and fire engines as well as firemen, he added.

In a related development, the National Observatory of Athens’ meteorology division announced that 161,874 hectares (400,000 acres) of forest area across the country had burned to the ground between Aug. 19 and Aug. 21.__The Nation