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Southern Europe burns in widespread forest fires

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Southern Europe burns in widespread forest fires


At least three people have been killed in wildfires sweeping southern Greece following a heatwave across central and southern Europe. At least eight villages near Aegio in the south of the country have had buildings destroyed. With temperatures topping 45 degrees, helicopters rescued stranded residents and dumped water on the flames.

One man said: “The fire had already reached our village and, while we were heading for the beach, four fire engines came towards us. One fireman told us they could not have got there earlier because they had come from Athens. It is unbelievable.” Another resident said: “They don’t care about us. They thought we should put the fires out ourselves. We were in great danger. Look at our houses.”

In Bulgaria, the government has appealed to the EU, Nato and Russia for help dealing with fires there, which are consuming 9,500 hectares of forest. A state of emergency has been declared. And in Italy, hundreds of fires have gripped the southern half of the country. Among the devastated regions, more than 2,000 hectares of protected parkland left looking like a smouldering lunar landscape.

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