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Greek forest fire rages near Athens

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Greek forest fire rages near Athens

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Firefighters in Greece are battling to control a large wildfire on the outskirts of the capital, Athens.

The blaze broke out late on Friday, quickly reducing thousands of acres of forest to ash and cinders. Authorities have declared states of emergency in and around Grammatik, Varnavas and Marathon. Strong winds helped the fire spread rapidly to other villages. More than 150 firefighters are tackling the blaze which has damaged eight homes. No-one has been reported injured so far. Helicopters loaded with flame retardants are constantly criss-crossing the skies. With thick clouds of smoke hanging heavy over the capital, people near the danger zone have been urged to evacuate the area.