Athens (dpa) – Firefighters battled to contain three major forest
fires which were being fanned by strong winds near the Greek capital
on Saturday, forcing officials to evacuate camps, monasteries and
The fires, the first to hit Greece this summer, raged to the
north and south-east of Athens late Saturday afternoon, sending
clouds of thick, black smoke over the city.
Authorities said they were forced to evacuate several children’s
camps, a monastery and holiday homes as a precaution, but said no
homes were at immediate risk and no injuries were reported from the
Many residents could be seen armed with buckets and water hoses in
an attempt to douse flames near their properties.
More than 90 firefighters, eight planes, three helicopters and 27
trucks battled to put out the flames before dusk.
Greece is often hit by forest fires during the hot, dry summer
months, leading to the destruction of thousands of acres of forest
and entire villages in recent years.