NEWS

Firefighters battle several fronts around country

YIANNIS SOULIOTIS

TAGS: Fire

Firefighters on Wednesday struggled to control several large blazes in Attica and other parts of the country, including one that broke out southeast of the capital near Keratea, damaging several homes though there were no reports of injuries late last night. 

The nearby towns of Anavyssos and Palaia Fokaia were evacuated as a precaution, as were several smaller settlements, after strong winds whipped the fire in their direction. 

A fire in the area of Feria, in the Saronikos municipality, continued to burn late on Wednesday night though the fire service said it had managed to partially contain it. Municipal authorities invited residents of the settlements that were evacuated to stay in hotels for the night until the blaze has been brought fully under control. 

The villages of Feriza, Olympos, Aris Saronidas, Agios Panteleimonas and Agiasmothi were evacuated, along with a boarding school from which 27 children were removed to safety, as well as an undetermined number of residents from a retirement home.

There were fears that the dozens of blazes across the country could rekindle overnight when water-dropping aircraft are grounded. The General Secretariat for Civil Protection had warned of a high risk of wildfires yesterday due to the strong winds and dry conditions. 

Another large blaze in Nea Makri had been contained by firefighters by late last night, but not before it razed around 35 hectares of forestland. 

The extent of the damage to homes remained unclear on Wednesday as the fires continued to burn in many parts. 

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