Greece: Forest fire at Athens out of control

The forest burns in a popular Greek holiday area. Temperatures of 40 degrees and strong winds continue to fire, the smoke reaches the capital.

Greece: Forest fire at Athens out of control

In vicinity of Greek capital of Ans, two forest fires have been out of control. Up to 100 houses burned down. The Flames drove people into flight and coloured with ir smoke sky over Ans Orange.

The first fire broke out in a pine forest near Kineta, a village about 50 kilometers west of Ans. At least 150 firefighters were in use and were supported by five fire-fighting aircraft and seven helicopters from air. Violent wind from changing directions made extinguishing work more difficult.

The second fire raged since Monday afternoon in region Penteli norast of Ans. According to ir own data, authorities evacuated several camps for children, while dozens of houses and cars were burned. 50 firefighters were in operation, including three planes and a helicopter were involved.

On a beach, bars were trapped by fire and had to be rescued by boat. Civil protection announced that Greece would ask EU for help in fight against fires.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was concerned: "My thoughts are with people and forces," he told Greek television station ERT. He suspected that arsonists might be stuck behind fires.

Tsipras ordered that fire brigades from or regions as well as military rush to Ans to help, state radio reported. Mayors of affected regions told reporters on ground that more than 100 houses were destroyed or damaged in east of Ans alone. There was no information about injured at first.

Anor fire broke out on island of Crete. The fire brigades re shared, farmland and forest areas were in flames. Two helicopters supported work of emergency forces.

The fire brigades, volunteers and military tried to control flames with fire-fighting aircraft and dozens of emergency vehicles, but this did not succeed at first, as state television reported. The pilots could see practically nothing because of smoke formation, it was said. At present, temperatures in Greece are around 40 degrees. In addition, gusts of strength seven blow in affected region.

"It has entered so-called worst scenario," said chief of Greek civil protection, Giannis Kapakis, on television. Many residents panicked, reporters from place of fire reported. Electricity, telephone and internet fell in some regions. Television reporters showed several burned-out houses.

Due to strong smoke formation, highway and rail link between Ans and Corinth were closed, traffic police communicated. "It will be a long night," said a firefighter on television. After sunset, no fire planes or helicopters can be used.

During hot and dry summer months, forest fires in Greece are not a rarity. 2007 The most violent forest fires occurred for a long time. Large parts of sourn Greece burned. More than 60 people were killed.

Fire in Sweden and Latvia

In norrn Europe, too, fire was raging. In Sweden, in view of several forest fires, authorities did not give a warning. persistently hot and extremely dry wear hampered fight against dozens of fires. Britta Ramberg from Civil Protection authority said that risk of new fires is now particularly high in south of country. So far, fires have mostly raged in middle and in west of Sweden, even in north arose several.

Sweden has received support from or European countries in firefighting. Several French soldiers arrived on Monday morning. France, Italy and Norway. Poland contributed 139 firefighters and 44 fire engines. Germany, Lithuania and Portugal have also promised help.

In northwest of Latvia, rescue forces lost control of a peat and forest fire. Up to now, a good 1,000 hectares of forest, bushland and peat bog have been destroyed, as European Earth Observation Program Copernicus has provided. A smaller village was evacuated as a precaution.

Updated Date: 24 July 2018, 12:02

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