Residents in the Peloponnese, Evia and Attica, which have all been hit by major wildfires over the last two years, were given hope yesterday by local officials in Halkidiki, northern Greece, who said that a forest which was burned down in 2006 has begun to grow back naturally. Cassandra, the first of Halkidiki’s three prongs, was devastated by a wildfire in August 2006, which destroyed some 5,000 hectares of dense forest. However, Halkidiki Prefect Asterios Zografos revealed yesterday that about 85 percent of the forest has begun to regenerate without any replanting. He added that the fact there are not many animals grazing on the land in areas such as Pallini, which was badly affected, has helped the process of natural regeneration. «The new pine saplings are now a meter high and the acacia trees have reached a height of 2 meters,» he said.