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Strong Winds Cause Rapid Spread

Fires cause evacuations in Athens

Jul 18, 2010

Tourists and citizens in the vicinity of Athens have been evacuated due to 7 burning fires. Dense smoke and fire is currently hanging over the city.

Because of strong 65 kmh winds, forest fires that began on Saturday have spread rapidly causing at least 50 fires in the region. Two fires in Sounion and Kalamos on the eastern coasts of Attica prefecture destroyed more than 800 hectares of forest land before being extinguished.

The Greek Fire Service reported that 150 firefighters are involved in the extinguishing activities, as well as 32 machines, six aircraft, and 4 helicopters.

The Civil Protection Service has placed Attica prefecture under a state of alert since last week, due to the high risk of fires from a heat wave affecting Greece. Greece suffers from fires every summer that sometimes cause fatalities and a major environmental disaster.

It is suspected that these fires were deliberately set. Local authorities and residents suspect that they were started by arsonists who tried to take advantage of the strong winds blowing in the area.

Fires cause evacuations in Athens
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