A large fire broke out in the Marathon area in Attica on Saturday afternoon, with General Secretary for Civil protection Nikos Hardalias rushing to the spot.
According to the fire service, a forest area is on fire and the flames are approaching a residential area, but no homes are under threat so far.
The seriousness of the situation has brought to Marathon a large firefighting force to operate in the area with reinforcements arriving .Currently operating at the site are 146 firefighters, 47 vehicles, 7 aircraft and 3 helicopters.
Deputy Governor of East Attica Petros Filippou spoke on SKAI radio saying that fortunately there is no danger to homes and expressed optimism that the firefighters will eventually extinguish the blaze fully.
According to the fire service, the blaze is in a wooded area above the town of Marathon and burns low vegetation mostly. However, the strong winds make the firefighters’ job very difficult. Near the fire are greenhouses and cottages, as well as a small church of Agia Paraskevi, but no damage has been reported so far.
Marathon City council member responsible for fire protection Giorgos Lepouris appeared reassuring. Speaking to SKAI, he said that 70 percent of the fire is under control and homes are not threatened as the flames burn low vegetation mostly and the direction of the wind leads it to an area where there is nothing to burn.
The council member also revealed that a fire started from a house where works were in progress and the house burned.
Fire in Elafonisos under control
Early on Saturday morning a fire broke out in a wooded area on Elafonisos island,, with the fire service calling for the evacuation of a camp and a hotel as a precautionary measure.
Due to the high winds in the area, the fire spread fast and authorities ordered the evacuation of the island campsite and a nearby hotel.
Twenty-one firefighters are working to extinguish the fire with the help of seven vehicles, two Canadair aircrafts, 5 PZLs, and one helicopter. The situation is under control though.
Earlier, a fire that had erupted in Eretria, Evia, was put under control.
Extreme risk of a fire Saturday, Sunday
Extreme fire risk – category “5” – is forecast for Saturday due to very high temperatures in several regions of the country, according to the Daily Fire Risk Forecasting Charter issued by the General Secretariat for Civil Protection to inform citizens.
The worst day – in terms of fire risk – is expected to be Sunday, so the entire state mechanism is on alert from Saturday morning to respond quickly to any fire site before it expands.