A fire broke out in the area of Diefcha, on the island of Chios, late on Sunday, forcing the evacuation of the villages of Diefcha and Katavasis for precautionary reasons in the middle of the night.
The fire broke out after a driver crashed on the roadside and the car went alight shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday, local media reported. The driver was immediately arrested on charges of causing a traffic accident and for starting a wildfire out of negligence, local politischios.gr reported. Furthermore, two alcohol tests turned positive. He is to be taken to prosecutor as soon as he is discharged for he was slight injured and taken to hospital.
Due to the strong winds blowing in the area of northern Chios, the fire spread immediately to a virgin pine forest and the flames reaching a perimeter of up to 5 km.
According to first estimations, over 600 acres of forest land were burnt down.
Shortly after 11 a.m. on Monday,the Fire Service said that no residential area has been threatened so far and that the blaze in difficult to access areas was under control after 14 hours of fire fighting and water-dropping from 5 aircraft and 4 helicopters that started operation with the first daylight.
A total of 90 firefighters with six ground teams (including 10 firefighters who traveled by boat from Lesvos) and 27 firefighters who traveled by air from Athens), 18 water tanks, five aircraft and four helicopters and volunteer firefighters operated on the field.