Greek firefighters battle major blazes on multiple fronts

ATHENS-Greek firefighters on Wednesday struggled to contain uncontrolled fires throughout the country for a fifth day, several of them bordering an acrid, smoke-filled Athens.
A fire ripped through the foothills of Mount Parnitha, the largest forest adjoining the capital, and was threatening to spread to its national park.
Evacuations were ordered on Wednesday morning for three more settlements in the suburb Menidi, including three nursing homes. The blaze has reached the first houses in Menidi, which is also close to a military camp.
Fires have already destroyed homes and properties in the nearby suburbs of Hasia and Fyli. A migrants detention centre in Amygdaleza, north of Athens, was also evacuated.
The Greek capital woke up Wednesday to the smell of scorched earth and thick black smoke covering the sky.
“Unfortunately, the wind does not help at all,” Stathis Topalidis, deputy mayor of Menidi told state TV ERT. On Tuesday, authorities ordered the evacuation of Ano Liosia in northwest Athens -- a district of over 25,000 people -- even though several stayed at their houses to try and protect their properties.
“Conditions remain difficult and in many cases extreme,” fire department spokesman Yiannis Artopios said in a televised address. Another big blaze was still raging at a landfill in the industrial zone of Aspropyrgos, west of Athens. One neighbourhood was evacuated Wednesday morning.
Flames continued to spread unchecked for a fifth day in the northeastern region of Evros, close to the Turkish border in Alexandroupolis and the Dadia forest, and home to rare birds of prey. More evacuations were ordered in the region overnight.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt