NEWS

‘Destruction is incalculable’ as north Athens fire continues to rage

destruction-is-incalculable-as-north-athens-fire-continues-to-rage

More than 500 firefighters spent the night battling a massive wildfire in Athens’ northern suburbs as it razed houses and spread from its initial flashpoint in Varybobi to other settlements in the area.

After sweeping through Thrakomakeones, Adames and the Olympic Village on Tuesday night, the blaze reached the outskirts of Kryoneri in the early hours of Wednesday and is now reportedly heading to Tatoi, a listed park and historic site of the former royal family’s summer residence, just north of Kifissia.

Five water-dumping aircraft and nine helicopters joined the battle at first light, while the army, the police, municipal workers and dozens of volunteers have also been mobilized.

“The destruction is incalculable,” the mayor of Acharnes, Spyros Vrettos, told Skai television on Wednesday morning, speaking of the municipal area to which Varybobi belongs.

He said that the fire has been contained in Varybobi, a leafy suburb with hundreds of holiday homes, a children’s summer camp, riding centers, tavernas and cafes.

“There’s cinders and ash everywhere, it’s terrible. Dozens of hectares of pine forest have been razed, dozens of houses have been completely destroyed,” he added, saying that the municipal authority will start taking stock of the destruction Wednesday.