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Wildfire raging in NE Greece; Egnatia highway partly closed; evacuations (videos)

A wildfire is raging out of control in a forest area in Melia, Alexandroupolis North-East Greece.The fire broke out earlier on Saturday and has forced the evacuation of seven villages as well as the closure of parts of Egnatia highway as strong winds are pushing the flames to the south.

Video: Pefki evacuation at 4 p.m.

At the same time, the Civil Protection ordered the evacuation of the villages and settlements Melia, Nipsa, Pefka, and Loutro towards Alexandroupolis as the blaze was moving towards them withtwo fronts.

A first message sent via <112&> at 13:00 was urging residents to be standby in case of evacuation. The Fire Service said that these village were not at risk but due to the strong winds blowing in the area and the dense smoke the residents should be ready, if necessary, to evacuate.

The evacuation message was sent short after 15:00.

Another message followed an hour later for the evacuation of four more villages and settlements, i.e. Loutros, Agnantia, Aristino and Doriko. as the blaze had crossed over the egnatia highway and was heading to the sea in south.

The local mayor offered to evacuate with buses those who had their own transportation means.

Temporary traffic regulations were applied on Egnatia Odos highway at Kipi-Alexandroupolis due to the wildfire.

The traffic interruption is applied from Ardani interchange to the industrial zone of Alexandroupolis on both directions.

Firefighting forces have been strengthened and there are currently 31 fire engines and 100 firefighters, 6 teams on foot assisted by 5 water-dropping aircraft and 2 helicopters battling the blaze.

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