The fire broke out at the foothills of Mount Ymittos in the east of Greek capital Athens. Hot temperatures and strong North winds of up to 9 Beaufort, the fire went quickly out of control. It broke out at 12:38 pm in the forest park of Kareas as all as the near by suburbs of Vyronas, Ilioupoli and Argyroupoli. In the areas near the wildfires the residents were called to evacuate their homes, others just fled out of fear.
Video: wildfires – media speak of 3-4 different fire spots
In the suburb of Vyronas the fire reached some home buildings. Now they reportedly dangerously reach homes in Ilioupoli too.
According to latest information, the first flames are reaching homes in Astynomika district of Ilioupolis.
Video: wildfire near homes
A lot of residents have been complaining about respiratory problems.
According to Vyronas major, one tavern and a shop were burned down, no other damage or human injuries.
45 firefighters with 18 firefighting vehicles and two Canadair firefighting helicopters have been giving a battle against the flames. Two more Canadair from Thessaloniki and two Chinook from Elefsina are expected to join the operation.
Also a lot of volunteers and residents carrying water with every possible items trying to extinguish small fire spots. Volunteers keep flocking to the areas in danger.
According to Greek Defence Ministry, the Armed Forces were ready to contribute to the firefighting operation.
Greece has reportedly requested aid – firefighting helicopters – from Italy and France.
According to Greek media, there is strong suspicion of arson, as eye witnesses report of many different fire spots. According to latest information, the first fire broke out near the cemetery of Vyronas.
Wildfires burned also on Friday in the rural land in the region of Neapoli, Laconia in the Peloponnese, forcing one fire-fighting aircraft into an emergency landing, defence ministry officials said. Both pilots were safe.
Video: Wildfire in Laconia
One tourist reportedly passed away in Neapoli, Laconia, apparently due to a heart attack. According to Mega TV, the deceased was transferred to hospital with heavy respiratory problems, it was not clear whether it was heart problems that caused the death.
Some 200 locals and tourists trapped at the beach of Agios Nikolaos have been successfully evacuated and brought to Neapoli.
There is suspicion of arson also in Laconia as the fire broke out at 4 am.
Forest fires are common during the summer months in Greece. They caused huge damage and heavy loss of life in 2007.
The weather conditions are expected to remain the same with strong winds in the following 24 hours.