- Title: GREECE: Wildfire rages northeast of Athens
- Date: 23rd August 2009
- Summary: GRAMMATIKOS, GREECE (AUGUST 22, 2009) (REUTERS) HILLSIDE ON FIRE, ORANGE FLAMES AND SMOKE ORANGE FLAMES RISING ABOVE BURNING FOREST LINE OF FIRE ACROSS HILL FIRE VEHICLES AND WATER TANK FIREFIGHTERS SPREADING HOSE FROM FIRE VEHICLE MORE OF FIRE VEHICLES IN GRAMMATIKO AREA LARGE FLAMES BURNING IN THE HILL ORANGE FLAMES AND SMOKE BELLOWING INTO THE SKY FLAMES CONSUMING TREE MORE OF FIRE BURNING ON HILLSIDE FIRE VEHICLE ON BURNING HILLSIDE MORE OF FLAMES RISING FROM BURNING FOREST AND BRUSH ORANGE FLAMES CONSUMING TREES VARIOUS OF FIRE BURNING TREES AND BRUSH MORE OF RED FLAMES AND BLACK SMOKE RISING AS FIRE BURNS WITH FIRE VEHICLE IN THE BACKGROUND
- Embargoed: 7th September 2009 13:00
- Location: Greece
- Country: Greece
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes,Environment / Natural World
- Reuters ID: LVAC381ZVE085HQ7BC7XP9O5T1N2
- Story Text: Firefighters scramble to contain wildfire near villages northeast of the Greek capital before flames reach homes.
A wildfire that erupted in Greece's Grammatikos region on Friday (August 21) about 55 km northeast of Athens was still burning overnight despite firefighters efforts to contain it before reaching nearby villages.
The fire broke out in a forest brush early in the night and spread at a rapid pace due to strong winds in the region burning several acres of forest, brush and olive groves.
Local authorities feared for the villages of Grammatiko and Sesi as fireplanes and helicopters were grounded due to the darkness and only ground forces continued their battle against the flames.
More than 55 firefighters with 20 fire engines battled the blaze that burned on two fronts but their efforts were hampered by strong swirling winds.
Gale-force winds fanned more than 100 fires across Greece in less than 24 hours, the fire brigade said, urging citizens in a statement to avoid activities that could cause a fire, due to special weather conditions.
The country has been plagued by wildfires in recent weeks, but so far authorities have reacted swiftly and been able to prevent any loss of life or serious damage to property.
Greece is often victim to wildfires in the summer months, caused by human carelessness or arson and then fuelled by soaring temperatures and powerful winds.
In 2007 at least 67 people died in wildfires that raged through villages in the southern Peloponnese region, prompting authorities to be on more aggressive alert each summer.
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