Residents evacuated as wildfire on outskirts of Athens threatens homes

A wildfire on the outskirts of the Greek capital Athens is threatening homes and infrastructure, with some residents being evacuated by the authorities.

The blaze has spread across the slopes of Mount Hymettus, which overlooks Athens, sending clouds of thick smoke drifting over the city’s southern suburbs. Strong winds have helped fan the fire.

There is concern about damage to power lines, and traffic has been diverted away from the area.

Residents have been evacuated from some parts of the Voula and Glyfada regions, di 12.4 miglia (20km) from the city centre.

Più di 100 firefighters aided by six firefighting aircraft and four helicopters fought the blaze that started after midday in the city’s suburb of Glyfada, the fire brigade said.

According to the Greek newspaper Kathimerini, a local official Giannis Konstantatos said: “The situation is dire and the wind does not help. The atmosphere is suffocating, we have difficulty breathing. Sfortunatamente, the fire is moving towards Panorama and now the mayor of Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni has asked for an evacuation.

“The fire started from an area of ​​Ano Glyfada, where unfortunately no cleaning [of dried branches] has been done. We are fighting along with the fire brigade and the volunteers to prevent it from reaching homes. It is the third fire in 20 days.”

A fire brigade official told the Reuters news agency: “The winds are very intense, we have damage in a few houses and some cars, no injuries.”

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