Two more settlements west of Megara, in west Attica, were ordered to evacuate on Friday as a wildfire that first broke out in neighboring Corinthia and spread eastwards burning houses and a thick forest continued to rage for a second day.
Residents of the Papagianneika and Kalkani communities in the area of Pefkeneas left their homes in their own cars, fire department spokesperson Vassilis Vathrokogiannis told state-run news agency ANA-MPA, adding that, besides the large blaze further west, efforts are focused on controlling the rekindling of several pockets of fire west and northwest of Megara.
Firefighting forces from central Greece have converged in the area around the Gerania mountains, where the fire is burning dense pine forest. A total of 278 firefighters are deployed, with 89 firetrucks, 10 rough terrain groups from the army, and 18 dowsing planes with 3 helicopters, in addition to water trucks and other auxiliary vehicles.
The operation is being coordinated by the mobile operations center Olympos which is in the vicinity.
The fire burned more than 4,000 hectares of forest area, destroying scores of houses in its path. Experts now warn of an increased risk of landslides and floods.