Greece sought international aid to combat the wildfires that started on Saturday, spread to an area of 20,000 acres and burnt of rural and agricultural land, several houses, professional sites and warehouses and causing dozens of residents to flee their homes in the Eastern Attica region some 30 to 50 km away from Athens.
The wildfire that broke on Saturday noon quickly spread due to strong winds. Following a Fire Brigades request Greece’s caretaker government informed EU-member states that the country is in need of help.
Video: residents try to combat wildfire
Today Sunday, two fire-fighting planes Canadair are expected to arrived from Italy, while French and Croatian governments are looking into the Greek request.
“A wildfire near Athens raged unabated on Sunday, burning rural land and sending some residents fleeing their homes, but firefighters said they expected to bring it under control within hours.
More than 140 firefighters with dozens of engines battled the flames, aided by seven aircraft and four helicopters.
The fire broke out on Saturday from sparks at a site where workers had been welding, and, fanned by strong winds, it quickly spread to engulf the settlements of Palaia Fokaia, Keratea and Legraina near the southern coast of Athens.” (Reuters)
On Saturday police detained four men with the charge of negligencly starting the blaze while doing wielding works. Another man was detained also on Sunday.
Five firefighters were taken to hospital with breathing problems.
The wildfires have been mostly taken under control however there are still hearths of fire due to the strong winds. Fire-brigades, helicopters and and fire-fighting airplanes are still struggling to extinguish the fire.
The big wildfire in South-Eastern Attica is the first of this summer season. State NET TV reports that 63 wildfires broke out during the last 48 hours across the country.
Wildfires are frequent in Greece during the summer, often due to soaring temperatures and strong winds, drought or arson
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