North Athens fire rages out of control

North Athens fire rages out of control

Thousands of people were roused from their beds and evacuated from their homes in the northern Athens overnight as flareups of Tuesday’s fire in Varybobi spread to Kryoneri, Drosopigi and Ippokrateios Politeia, jumped the Athens-Lamia national highway at Afidnes and tore into Agios Stefanos, Polydendri, Kapandriti, Pefkofyto and other leafy suburbs in the foothills of Mount Parnitha.

Residents in Vothonas and Marathon also received orders to head to the coast at 5 a.m. on Friday, as the fire service indicated that the main fire had split up into multiple fronts, spreading in different directions. The fire service is also bracing for strong winds that have been forecast in Attica and the rest of Greece.

Reports on Friday morning indicated that dozens of houses have been destroyed or damaged, while the deputy mayor of Afidnes, Giorgos Dostis, told Skai TV that he estimates the fire to have razed an area of at least 4,500 to 5,000 hectares.

There has been no loss of life, however, and just a few dozen hospitalizations, mainly of firefighters who have sustained minor burns but also residents suffering from smoke inhalation.

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