Fire burns in Markopoulo

Authorities in Attica were struggling to deal with another serious wildfire last night as more than 50 firefighters assisted by at least four water-dropping aircraft tried to control a blaze at Markopoulo, northeast of Athens. The fire began at around 5 p.m. near a quarry in the area. Although by last night it had only burned areas of low vegetation and with few trees, the blaze was being fanned by strong winds and was heading toward the much greener area of Kouvaras. Eastern Attica has developed rapidly over the last decade and Kalyvia, an area near Markopoulo, was blighted by fire last summer. Firefighters were also battling a blaze near Marathon that began at 7.40 p.m. yesterday. Earlier in the day, a number of small blazes broke out in several parts of the country. Authorities have been put on high alert for forest fires today as the strong winds are expected to continue.