Greek wildfires force residents and holidaymakers to evacuate

Greece Wildfires
Greece Wildfires Copyright Thanassis Stavrakis/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Philip Andrew Churm with AP
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Wildfires in Greece, following days of scorching temperatures, have forced thousand to evacuate their homes and holiday accommodation


Wildfires in Greece which began on Monday were continuing to burn on Tuesday afternoon.

The blazes have forced thousands to flee seaside resorts, closed highways and gutted holiday homes following days of extreme heat. 

The blaze in Attica had spread from Dervenochoria to Mandra Attica.

Authorities issued evacuation orders for at least six seaside communities as two major fires edged closer to summer resort towns and gusts of wind hit 70 km/h. 

Water-dumping aircraft were deployed early on Tuesday to help dozens of ground crews and mobile units battle three wildfires in the regions of Attica, Corinth and Viotia for a second day.

By mid afternoon on Tuesday, a fire had broken out on Mount Aegaleo with three helicopters rushing to put it out.

The biggest blaze appeared to be in Dervenohoria, a cluster of villages in Viotia, about 45km northwest of Athens but fires in the East Attica seaside resort of Saronida and outside Loutraki in Corinth were also active despite ongoing efforts to contain them.

Three volunteer firefighters in Saronida were hospitalised after sustaining eye injuries and officials say homes have been destroyed in both Saronida and Loutraki. 

Greater Athens and much of southern Greece were on the second highest level of alert for wildfires on Monday and Tuesday following a four-day heat wave which had eased over the weekend.  Temperatures are expected to soar again later in the week.

Residents and visitors in areas affected by the fires received mobile phone alerts from the Civil Protection Ministry. 

Loutraki Mayor Giorgos Gionis said municipal workers were also helping elderly and vulnerable people in the evacuations, adding that the operation had been impeded by mobile phone reception outages.

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