Fire north of Athens stressing power supply


Greece’s fire service was battling a major fire north of Athens on Tuesday that was threatening the capital with widespread power cuts, as residents struggle to stay cool in temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius.

Five water-dumping airplanes – including a Russian Beriev 200 – four helicopters and 104 firefighters with 35 trucks, as well as an army of volunteers and municipal crews, were trying to contain the blaze that broke out in dense forestland in the northern suburb of Varybobi.

The fire has already damaged a 400-kilowatt electricity transmitter, causing voltage fluctuations across Athens and power outages in some parts of the capital – including one of its most populous neighborhoods, Kypseli – and continues to burn dangerously close to high-voltage power lines.

A section of the Athens-Lamia highway has also been closed for safety reasons.