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Forest fire is raging in Varympompi, NW Attica: Settlement evacuated; residents urged to shut doors, windows

Authorities temporarily closed a small part of the national highway Athens-Lamia in north-eastern Attica early Tuesday afternoon due to the big fire front of Varympompi. Some two hours earlier, residents of Varympompi and Kryoneri Attica, were urged to shut doors, windows and chimneys after a thick black cloud emerged from a blaze in the nearby forest on the foothills of Parnitha Mt. The Civil Protection message via Emergency number <112>; also advised locals to be ready to evacuate if necessary.

Residents in the area and the north-west suburbs of Athens are concerned, and many owners of horse riding clubs have rushed to evacuate dozens of animals, some 200 in total. However, without success, as the Fire Service does not allow them to get closer and traffic in main and smaller roads has been halted.

80 children have been evacuated from a summer camp.

The fire started around 1:30 Tuesday noon and explosions were heard and seen as the thick black smog rose in the sky from the foothills of the mountain of Parnitha.

Over 104 firefighters operate with 35 fire trucks, assisted by volunteers and firemen teams on foot as well as 5 water dropping aircraft and 4 helicopters.

However, the blaze is in a dense forest, the area is hardly accessible and it seems that only aerial means can do something for the time being.

The thick smog has reached suburbs of northern Athens like Kifissia and Erythraia and the national highway.

So far, there is not official information on the causes of the forest fire as well as what caused the explosions, but this will be determined once the blaze has been extinguished, state news agency amna reports.

However, speaking to Skai TV, the mayor of Acharnes where Varympompi belongs Spyros Vrettos said that there was an explosion of a power column.

The blaze as detected by the FIREHUB system.

Attica Regional Governor Giorgos Patoulis said short after 4 o’ clock that there are currently three fire fronts, one near the settlement Adams, one near the horse riding clubs and one in the forest.

Evacuation of settlement Adames was ordered short after 4:30 p.m.

As the blaze is near some power substation media report of problems in the power surge and thus on the hottest day in the Greek capital where over 42 degrees Celsius are being recorded.

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