Firefighters contain major blaze near Athens

2019-08-12 19:30
A fire truck follows a wildfire on Mount Hymittos in the suburb of Peania near Athens (AFP)

A fire truck follows a wildfire on Mount Hymittos in the suburb of Peania near Athens (AFP)

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Greek firefighters on Monday brought under control a major forest fire that was threatening homes in the outskirts of Athens, officials said.

The civil protection authority said the fire erupted around 03:00 in the eastern suburb of Peania, in the foothills of Mount Ymittos.

"It was a huge fire with flames around 20 metres high, near homes," civil protection chief Nikos Hardalias told Antenna TV.

Over 130 firemen were dispatched to the scene to keep the fire from spreading to heavily inhabited areas a few kilometres away.

Fire-bombing aircraft joined the operation at first light.

Greece has been hit by a spate of wildfires since the weekend amid gale-force winds and temperatures of about 40 degrees Celsius.

On Sunday, firefighters brought under control a fire on the small island of Elafonissos,in the Peloponnese region after a two-day battle.

The fire is estimated to have burned a quarter of the island, forcing authorities to evacuate a campsite and hotel facilities.

Read more on:    greece
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