Major wildfire near Athens forces home evacuations


Greek authorities have ordered thousands of homes near Athens evacuated as a large wildfire raged out of control among scattered country residences.

No injuries were reported from the blaze southeast of the capital near Keratea, but buildings were damaged.

Strong winds that whipped up the flames hampered efforts to contain the fire, which was the worst of the 71 forest fires that broke out in various parts of Greece since late Tuesday.

The nearby towns of Anavyssos and Palia Fokea were ordered evacuated Wednesday as a precaution as flames headed in their direction, along with some smaller settlements in the area. Authorities provided detailed road escape routes. [AP]