NEWS

High winds fan Samos wildfire

Strong winds last night were hampering a major operation to extinguish a wildfire that was burning for a second day on the northern Aegean island of Samos. The blaze began in the area of Kokkari late on Wednesday and had spread to other parts of the island by yesterday morning. Firefighters thought they had the blaze under control yesterday afternoon but the wind rekindled it, forming large fronts on Mount Rampaidoni and in Kokkari. Eight water-bombing airplanes and four helicopters were involved in the operation to bring the wildfire under control but they had to stop at dusk for safety reasons. More than 180 firefighters and soldiers as well as some 150 volunteers were also helping in the effort to put out the blaze. No homes were in immediate danger and local authorities said that the area burned was mostly shrubland.