Fire destroys forest, crops near Corinth

A brushfire which burned overnight near two villages some 60 kilometers west of Corinth in the Peloponnese scorched at least 300 hectares of forest and farmland, authorities said last night as they brought the blaze under partial control. The fire is thought to have started in a rubbish dump but it was not clear what caused the blaze. The Civil Protection Authority said that as soon as the fire is put out, it will begin investigating whether appropriate safety measures were in place at the landfill to prevent the blaze from spreading. There were no reports of injuries or damage to property even though the flames approached several houses in the villages of Ano Loutra and Kallithea. However, electricity cables and water pipes in the area were severely damaged. The fire began on Tuesday afternoon in the area of Evrostini and quickly spread when it was fanned by strong winds. Some 60 firefighters tried to put out the blaze but the landscape made it difficult for them to approach the fronts. As the fire burned overnight, reinforcements were called in from local fire services in Attica, Epirus and western Greece. By yesterday afternoon some 300 firefighters and 80 fire engines were involved in putting out the blaze. Six water-dropping airplanes and three helicopters joined the operation at about 6 a.m. yesterday but their task was made more difficult by winds that kept changing direction, the fire service said.

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