A forest fire has been raging in the resort of Kineta in West Attica in a blaze front extending to six kilometers. Powerful wind of up to 7 and occasionally 8 Beaufort make the firefighters’ work almost impossible. The rough sea hinders aerial means from loading water from the sea.
Three settlements – Galini, Panorama 1 and Panorama 2- have been already evacuated, the flames have reached yards and reportedly burned houses.
However, there are locals who refuse to comply with authoritativeness to evacuate the area.
Fire Service and Police keep urging the residents to leave the area to prevent put lives at risk.
Yet many stubbornly refuse alto ugh the situation seems out of control still 4 hours after the fire broke out and thick smog has covered the area as well as parts of the Attica and Athens sky.
The deputy regional government of the Fire Service warned on television that “nobody can go unharmed if he stays in thick smog conditions for so many hours.”
The fire broke out around 12 o’ clock on Monday noon. It started in pine forest of the settlement of area of Galini at the feet of Galini mountain in the North-West of Kineta.
Due to the strong wind, The fire soon came down from the mountain and has meanwhile reached the shore.
Video before traffic was closed on the highway.
Short after 3 o’ clock Police closed both ways on the new highway and the old motorway Athens-Corinth from the 39km to 59 km due to the heavy smog as security measure.
‼Κλειστή η κυκλοφορία των οχημάτων στη Νέα και Παλαιά Εθνική Οδό Αθηνών-Κορίνθου & στα δύο ρεύματα, από το 39 έως το 57 χλμ, λόγω εκδήλωσης πυρκαγιάς στην ευρύτερη περιοχή της Κινέτας. pic.twitter.com/mHjgBk8wd0
— Ελληνική Αστυνομία (@hellenicpolice) July 23, 2018
“It is tragic,” Mayor of Megara Grigoris Stamoulis told state ERT TV, “the wind is strong and keeps changing directions, the fire is out of control.”
Units from the Public Power Company have proceeded with controlled power cut, a representative confirmed that Kineta and part of Agioi Theodoroi is without electricity.
More than 130 fire fighters with 30 fire trucks operate together with 5 Canadair and another 5 helicopters in a battle which end seems undecided.
Wind is pushing the blaze towards Megara and Athens, an ERT reported said short before 5 p.m.
— Sloth (@slothSP) July 23, 2018
People were seen trying to divert flock of sheep and goats to safe areas.
Others packed their families and their elderly and their pets and left with their vehicles before the situation worsened.
According to latest information, one hotel at the beach of Kineta received evacuation orders, but it seems that it is difficult for the people to leave the area, so state TV. A local ERT reporter on the spot said that two more hotels need to be evacuated and that the only way was through the sea.
According to SKai TV some 15 houses have been burned down in Panorama 2.
The Fire Service calls on locals to call <199> in order to be evacuated.
There are reports that the Defense Ministry has set units on alert to intervene and help with combating the fire.
Smog from Kineta over Acropolis – reuters
Read also: Sky over Athens turned Yellow. What’s wrong?
Short before 5 o’ clock Police and Fire Service ordered the temporary suspension of service of Proastiakos train Athens-Kiato.
Short time later, a fire broke out in the forest on the mountain of Penteli in the North-East of Athens, near the settlement of Kallitexnoupoli.
A fire is also raging in Vryses by Apokoronas near Chania on the island of Crete. Skai Tv reports that evacuation has been ordered and at least one house was delivered to the flames.