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Greek firefighters are busy with a series of wildfires spreading across the country. As a precaution, citizens were evacuated from their homes in several places. Nearly 300 wildfires broke out last week, according to the fire service, 65 of which occurred in the past 24 hours.
The largest fire is located about 40 kilometers west of Athens. The fire broke out on Tuesday afternoon near the coastal town of Porto Jermeno. More than 130 firefighters and 10 planes and helicopters have been battling major bushfires since then.
According to local authorities, the strong and often changing wind direction makes the operation more difficult. The fire seemed to spread more slowly as the evening progressed. A village was evacuated near the forest fire. An unoccupied house was burned down, the public radio station reported.
See pictures of different forest fires in Greece here:
More than 50 fires in Greece left a trail of destruction
Earlier today, firefighters got control of another large fire. This was near the town of Itea, about 100 kilometers west of Athens. Here, too, a number of residents had to leave their homes. About 300 hectares of olive groves were set ablaze.
On Monday, a hotel near the seaside resort of Kranidi in the Peloponnese region was evacuated. No one was injured in this forest fire.
The Greek fire brigade receives help from colleagues from other European countries. Firefighters from Bulgaria and Romania, among other countries, are stationed in Greece, as part of a European cooperation plan. In time, an additional 200 firefighters should be able to help out in the wildfire season.
Greece is exposed to wildfires every year. In 2018, more than 100 people died in a large forest fire. Since then, the Greek government has been on high alert for these types of disasters.
Due to strong winds and dry and warm weather, the most dangerous phase of the fire will be in effect in large parts of the country until Wednesday. It includes a ban on barbecue and does not allow people to light fires.
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