Saturday, 18 September, 2021

NEWS in brief

Forest fire threatens suburbs north of Athens

Forest fire threatens suburbs north of Athens

ATHENS: An out-of-control fire scorched forests at the base of Mount Penteli north of Athens Tuesday, threatening surrounding suburbs, firefighters and local authorities said, reports AFP.

Authorities have sent alerts to mobile phones of residents of the affected area, warning them to “be ready to follow instructions,” but no evacuation orders had yet been issued.

“The fire is out of control,” Yannis Kalafatelis, the mayor of the town of Dionysos, told radio Skai. His counterpart at the town of Penteli, Dimitra Kehaya, told the radio station that the blaze had spread across “several kilometres.”

ERT public television interrupted its programming for live coverage of the fire.

Some 74 firefighters, backed by five helicopters and five planes equipped for dropping water were battling to contain the blaze, but their efforts were complicated by the 38 kilometre (24 miles) per hour winds.

Forest fires regularly erupt in Greece during the summer months, including around Mount Penteli.

In July 2018, 102 people died when a fire fed by winds off the mountain raced through the coastal town of Mati, near Athens, in the country’s worst-ever toll from a forest inferno.