Heat wave set to start tomorrow

The temperature in some parts of Greece is expected to reach 42 Celsius (107 Fahrenheit) next week because of a heat wave that is due to hit the country tomorrow, the National Meteorological Service (EMY) said yesterday, as seven brush fires raged around the country. Western Greece and Macedonia are due to feel the effects of the heat wave first. The temperature in those areas is set to reach 38C (100F) tomorrow, rising to 40C (104F) by Saturday. This heat will reach the rest of the country on Sunday. The temperature is set to reach 42C in some parts by Tuesday. «Despite the rise in temperature, the situation will be bearable in Attica until Saturday due to northerly winds,» the head of forecasting at EMY, Dimitris Ziakopoulos, told Kathimerini. «But caution will be needed on Monday and Tuesday when the thermometer will show over 40C.» The City of Athens said yesterday that it is offering residents access to 26 air-conditioned centers in various parts of the capital between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. from tomorrow. More information is available by calling the City of Athens on 210.372.2001. Officials will also be on the alert for an increased risk of forest fires, especially after the unusually high number of blazes yesterday. A 60-year-old man was arrested in Ano Glyfada, southern Athens, for allegedly causing by mistake one of the seven brush fires that broke out around the country. Firefighters who rushed to put out the blaze as it burned pine and olive trees in the hillside suburb had a narrow escape after their fire engine caught fire, authorities said. The blaze began after the unnamed 60-year-old tried burning some branches and garbage in an empty barrel but lost control of the fire. In the largest blaze of the day, more than 70 firefighters battled a fire on the Cycladic island of Andros, which threatened houses. The effort to put out the fire was continuing last night. Brush fires were also reported in Thebes, Preveza, Kavala, Larissa and Porto Heli. No injuries were reported.

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