Firefighters battle blazes in Keratea, Achaia [update 2]

Firemen were on Thursday fighting a new blaze in Dionysos, near Keratea, southeastern Attica, on Thursday, with local authorities reporting that at least two homes were in flames and another five damaged. A helicopter was aiding the efforts of 50 firemen manning 25 fire engines on the ground while local residents and volunteers contributed with water hoses.

A summer holiday camp for children near Keratea was evacuated, according to authorites who said that all its residents were accounted for and out of harm’s way.

A spokesperson for the fire service, Nikolaos Tsogas, told Skai that the fire had surrounded the community of Trepes while the mayor of Lavreotiki Constantinos Levantis said that the blaze had started in a local house.

Firefighters were also seeking to extinguish blazes that rekindled in Platani and Drepano in Achaia.

Several wildfires that broke out on Wednesday caused serious damage to farmland in Achaia close to the western port of Patra, and in the area of Kissamos, near Hania, though firefighters managed to contain the blazes before they could threaten homes. Several villages were evacuated as a precaution in both regions on Wednesday evening though residents were allowed to return to their homes late last night.

The wildfires razed an estimated 300 hectares of farmland in the regions of Hania and Achaia, according to firefighters whose task was made more difficult by strong winds that buffeted the flames and high temperatures that sustained the tinderbox conditions that allow fires to spread quickly.

The Civil Protection Authority warned on Thursday that the island of Evia, Attica and the northeastern Peloponnese faced a particularly high risk of wildfires breaking out as winds are forecast to be strongest in those areas.

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