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Race to extinguish the forest fire in Vilia, West Attica

Five settlements in total and one nursing home were evacuated as the forest fire is still raging in Vilia area in western Attica on Tuesday. The fire front extends to 10 km burning down dense and inaccessible pine forest on the Mount Patera and approaches residential areas.

The fire broke out at 12:30 Monday noon and the strong winds blowing with 5 to 6 Beaufort had it quickly out of control for the dozens of firefighters and several aerial means.

When aerial means halted their operation due to the night, the blaze was seen from Mt Parnitha as below:

With the first daylight on Tuesday, 6 helicopters and 5 aircraft, including the Russian Beriev-200 and Illiusing, resumed their operation.

On the ground there are 330 firefighters are operating, including 8 groups of on foot, 115 fire trucks, water tankers provided by the local and regional government, volunteers, motorized special operations teams, 5 groups of infantry units of the Greek Army.

The Greek fire fighting forces are assisted also by 143 fire fighters and 46 vehicles from Poland. The Polish team arrived last week in the context of European Emergency Mechanism and was asked to extend its assistance and help with the fire in Vilia on Monday.

Settlements evacuated are: Thea, Panorama, Agios Georgios/Palaiohori, Paliokoundoura and Aghia Sotira.

Policemen carry a bed-ridden elderly woman to safety during evacuation.

There is currently no wind, the blaze is moving away from the settlements and the aerial means can fly lower today, in their race to extinguish the fire as the weather conditions seem perfect to achieve such a goal.

The smoke from the fire in Vilia has formed a thick ring and covered the horizon of the Attica basin from West to the South on Monday evening. The smoke cloud was still here early Tuesday morning and is still there -even though of brighter color and bigger height at 2:30 Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the forest fire in South-East Attica is in recession on Tuesday,with only
scattered outbreaks within the perimeter.

The fire in  Keratea that broke out in low vegetation in Markati area at 10:30 Monday morning and quickly spread due burned down several houses as well as forest land.

Over 100 firefigters with 40 vehicles and two helicopters are still in action in the area.

Both fires in Villia and Keratea are being investigated on suspicion of arson.

A total of 45 forest fires were recorded in the past 24 hours, the Fire Service said.

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