Residents of the Athens suburbs of Kareas and Koropi on Mount Hymettus were sent fleeing as forest fires broke out around the Greek capital.
Point of view
All fire and rescue services, as well as the army and the air force, are on alert to assist in efforts to extinguish the fire on the major fronts.
Police confirmed 34 blazes were raging across four main fronts in southern Greece, fuelled by strong winds and high temperatures.
The cause of the fires is uncertain, although eyewitness accounts seem to suggest some could have been started deliberately.
“It started over there. Then before we could even go outside to check it out it began on the other side as well,” said one resident of Kareas. “So, two or three places probably set on fire simultaneously.”
Another local woman added:
“We went home just to grab our most valuable documents, left them with someone and came back here to the mountains to help.”
It is the latest in a series of headaches for Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras, who is currently embroiled in heated bailout discussions with the government.
“All fire and rescue services, as well as the army and the air force, are on alert to assist in efforts to extinguish the fire on the major fronts: one in Laconia; the other in Attica, in the suburb of Kareas,” he advised.
Particularly strong winds in the southern region of Laconia, have forced the evacuation of at least three villages. There are no reports of injury, although one person is believed to have died after inhaling fumes.
Summer fires are common in Greece. In 2007, 84 people died in the most serious outbreak in recent years.