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Forest fire on Samos island out of control; one suspect arrested

A forest fire has been raging on the island of Samos since 10 o’ clock Tuesday morning and is out of control also in early evening. A village nearby has been evacuated, support fire fighting forces are on the way to the island in the eastern Aegean Sea. One suspect has been arrested.

The fire broke out in a forest area near the Vronta Monastery and quickly spread out of control due to strong winds blowing in the area with intensity of 5 to 6 Beaufort.

Local authorities ordered the evacuation of the village Vourliotes with over 300 inhabitans in the afternoon, reportedly for preventive reasons.

Over 50 firefighters with several vehicles and dozens of volunteers as well as two fire fighting aircraft are struggling against the blaze. Some 14 firefighters with 6 vehicles are on the way to the island form the port of Piraeus on the mainland.

Ανεξέλεγκτη η πυρκαγιά στη Σάμο, στην κοινότητα Βουρλιωτών

The commander of the Samos Fire Service told local news website SamosToday “we have a fire that moves with south winds, to the north side of the island and further west.”

Stressing that all forces of the island have been on alert, Captain Miaoulis said that the Vourliotes village is not a problem for the moment, however, it is the wind bringing smoke to the village.”

The wind is forecast to weaken later on Tuesday.

Early Tuesday evening, ANT1 TV reported that an 80-year-old man has been arrested as he is considered as responsible for the blaze. No further details have been made public, so far.

It is the first big forest fire of the year on Samos and in Greece that sees thousands of acres of forest and agricultural land burn down each and every summer.

Many fires are due to arson but also due to negligence.

Samos Fire pictures: samos24.gr, samostoday, Gorgos Stantzos,mayor of East Samos.

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