Two new fires broke out on Friday, further stretching the Greek fire service that has been battling major blazes in northern Athens, Evia and the western Peloponnese since the start of the week during the biggest heatwave in decades.
In the region of Fokida, below Mount Parnasos, authorities say a large fire that started in Elea on Thursday night damaged houses there before heading to Kallithea and down toward the northern coast of the Gulf of Corinth, where it is now close to the popular seaside resort of Eratini and to Panormo.
“It’s a desperate situation. The fire goes where it wants, when it wants, and nobody can stop it,” the mayor of Dorida, Giorgos Kapentzonis, told the state-run Athens Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) on Friday, calling on the government to send help.
According to reports on Friday, a 65-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of accidentally starting the Elea blaze with sparks from a metal grinder.
Another fire is under way in east Mani, on the middle leg of the Peloponnese peninsula, and is thought to be a flareup of a blaze that broke out on Tuesday in Kastanies.
The fire service has evacuated several villages in the hinterland and is now cautioning residents in communities close to the port of Gytheio.
“The situation remains extremely difficult… may I say critical,” the deputy governor of the Laconia region, Theodoros Veroutis, told the ANA-MPA.
“The fire passed through the area of Sidirokatsro overnight, causing extensive damage to homes, and then headed south for Myrsini. Now there’s a front above the area of Kareas, near Germa,” he added, as water-dumping aircraft were sent to Mani.