Greece: Large forest blaze forces evacuations west of Athens

Jul 4, 2022, 7:32 PM | Updated: Jul 5, 2022, 1:00 pm

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek firefighters battled a large forest blaze that forced the evacuation of a small village west of Athens, the latest in a series of wildfires that flared as strong winds swept several parts of Greece.

By evening, the fire service said the blaze appeared to be spreading at a much slower pace, raising hopes it could be soon contained.

More than 130 firefighters and volunteers, assisted by 10 water-dropping aircraft, were battling the fire that broke out around noon Tuesday near the seaside town of Porto Germeno, 70 kilometers (44 miles) west of Athens.

As a precaution, the village of Mytikas was ordered evacuated, but there were no reports of injuries. Greek news reports said one uninhabited house was damaged.

Authorities said the strong wind, which kept shifting direction, was hampering the firefighting effort. The weather service said the wind was expected to slacken in the evening.

Fire service personnel was on a high alert on several parts of the country Tuesday, amid a forecast major risk of wildfires. Two other blazes were burning in the southern Peloponnese region. The fire service said it had dealt with more than 300 forest fires over the past week — 65 of them in the past 24 hours.

Early Tuesday, firefighters were able to bring under control a major blaze that threatened a large area of olive groves close to the town of Itea, in the plain under the ancient site of Delphi in central Greece and forced some home evacuations. About 300 hectares (740 acres) of the roughly 5,500-hectare (13,600-acre) olive-planted area were burnt. The ancient site was in no danger.

Also, a fire Monday forced the evacuation by sea of 73 hotel residents from a beach close to Kranidi in the northeastern Peloponnese. No injuries were reported.

Greece suffers destructive wildfires every summer. In 2018, more than 100 people died in a blaze at the Mati seaside resort east of Athens. Since then, authorities have focused on swift, precautionary evacuations of inhabited areas under threat.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Image: Members of the Makah Indian tribe paddle away from the rising sun as they head from Neah Bay...

Associated Press

Washington’s Makah Tribe clears major hurdle toward resuming traditional whale hunts

The U.S. granted the Makah Indian Tribe a long-sought waiver that helps clear the way for its first sanctioned whale hunts since 1999.

7 hours ago

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

1 day ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

2 days ago

hunter biden...

Randall Chase and the Associated Press

Hunter Biden convicted of all 3 felony charges in federal gun trial

Hunter Biden has been convicted of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018, but no sentencing date was set.

2 days ago

Photo: A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real e...

Associated Press

Bremerton man sentenced for 20 ‘swatting’ calls of false threats in US, Canada

A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real emergency responses, has been sentenced.

3 days ago

Image: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, speaks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zele...

Associated Press

Ukraine uses US weapons to strike inside Russia, a Western official tells AP

Ukraine has used U.S weapons to strike inside Russia in recent days, according to a Western official familiar with the matter told the AP.

8 days ago

Greece: Large forest blaze forces evacuations west of Athens