Summer wildfires plague Greece as firefighters battle high winds

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Summer wildfires have plagued Greece this week with numerous new fires breaking out across the country in the last few hours.

Spokesman for the Hellenic Fire Brigade Vassilis Vathrakogiannis told AMNA.gr that “there is a new fire breaking out nearly every ten minutes” across Greece.

Late on Wednesday, scores of Greek firefighters and water-bombing aircraft succeeded in taming a large wildfire on the fringes of Athens that forced authorities to evacuate two nearby settlements.

Officials said the wildfire was exacerbated by windy, hot and dry weather and appeared to have been deliberately started. It broke out in low scrub and olive trees in a sparsely inhabited area near Vari, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) south of central Athens.

No injuries were reported. ERT showed a burnt-out home, as well as destroyed plastic boats in a yacht and speedboat parking area.

Firefighters and aircraft were also battling another major fire in the southern Peloponnese region that forced the evacuation of a village, as well as blazes in central Greece and on eastern Aegean Sea island of Lesbos.

Earlier the fire service extinguished blazes east of Athens, and on the Aegean islands of Evia and Naxos — where a man was arrested on suspicion of accidentally starting the fire.

Wildfires are common in Greece’s dry, hot summers, and have caused scores of deaths in recent years.

Source: AP News.

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