Large forest fire raging in Sithonia

Large forest fire raging in Sithonia

A large wildfire burned an area covered with pine trees on the Sithonia peninsula in northern Greece on Thursday, with strong winds hindering the efforts of the fire fighters.

A force of 80 firemen with 37 vehicles along with numerous volunteer fire fighters was in the area since early morning, assisted by four Canadair aircraft and two helicopters.

The sky over Sithonia was covered in smoke, visible from a large distance, state-run news agency ANA-MPA reported.

According to information, the village Sarti was left without power and cellphone service.

“The situation is difficult, strong winds are blowing, the fire is right above Sarti,” Sithonia deputy mayor Paris Deblas told state-run radio station Praktoreio FM.

The fire is believed to have started near Platanitsi, on the east of the peninsula.

A separate blaze that broke out early Thursday morning near the suburban village of Filyro, located 10 km northeast from the city of Thessaloniki, was brought under control, the fire service said, adding there was no active front in the area.

Filyro residents had earlier evacuated their homes as flames approached the village.

In Thessaloniki, strong winds reaching 7 in the Beaufort scale caused trees to fall on parked cars, ripped awnings and road signs, and traffic lights went out.

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