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2 large fires burn near Athens

2 large fires burn near Athens

Two large forest fires, the first of the summer season, are burning near Athens, aided by gale force winds up to 40 miles (65 kilometers) per hour.
The most serious of the two broke out around 1 p.m. local time (1000 GMT) Saturday in a mountain ravine near the coastal resort town of Kalamos, 28 miles northeast of Athens. The fire is moving southeast, in the direction of the town of Marathon and the nearby Marathon Lake, which serves as a major reservoir for the Greek capital.
The village of Varnavas, south of Kalamos has been mostly evacuated, with a few residents staying behind to help firefighters.
Dozens of firetrucks, 12 planes and 4 helicopters are fighting the fire.
"(The fire) is very dangerous right now...We hope there is no change in the wind direction, so we can control the fire before sundown," said lieutenant-general Apostolos Gerokostas, deputy head of Greece's fire service.
There are reports of slight damage to houses in the area. No casualties have been reported.
Another fire broke out earlier near the port of Lavrio, southeast of Athens. A slight drop in wind speed has helped firefighters contain the fire, although all aircraft were diverted to the larger fire to the north. A scout camp has been evacuated.
Forest fires regularly break out in Greece in the summer season, aided by the combination of hot, dry weather and high winds. Huge forest fires devastated a large area east of Athens in 2007.


Updated : 2021-07-31 20:43 GMT+08:00