Thousands flee major fire north of Athens: ‘Hell is behind us’ | abroad

Firefighters are unable to control a large fire north of the Greek capital, Athens. The fire reached the first homes in some suburbs on Tuesday afternoon. Meanwhile, residents flee the affected area in panic. “Hell is behind us,” one resident shouted from his car to a reporter at the scene. Thick clouds of smoke appear from all over Athens.




The fire started earlier in the day at the foot of the Parnitha Mountains, a forested area about 30 kilometers north of Athens. The flames have since spread to populated areas, particularly Varympompi, a neighborhood in Acharnes. Thick plumes of smoke appear from all over Athens.

The Varympompi fire brigade advised residents of part of this neighborhood to leave the area. That was the message Acharnes Mayor Spyros Vitus posted on Tuesday afternoon: “Quickly leave your homes,” was his plea. Earlier, local media reported that emergency services had evacuated dozens of children from a youth camp as a precaution.

There are reports of people trapped by the flames. Electricity was cut off in several places in the region.

Thick plumes of smoke appear from all over Athens. © AP

More than 300 firefighters battle the flames in Varympompi. 70 trucks, five helicopters and five firefighting planes have been deployed.

Greece has been suffering from a historic heat wave for more than a week. A temperature of 44 degrees Celsius was measured in Athens on Tuesday. Weather experts have been warning of fires of this magnitude for days. Forest fires are also burning elsewhere in Greece. For example, three villages in the southern Peloponnese were evacuated on Tuesday.

Authorities assume that the risk of wildfires will remain very high even after the heat wave is over, due to the country’s ongoing drought and expected strong winds.


Environmental Protection Agency

© Environmental Protection Agency

Reuters

© Reuters

France Press agency

© AFP

Environmental Protection Agency

© Environmental Protection Agency

AP

© AP

Environmental Protection Agency

© Environmental Protection Agency

France Press agency

© AFP

Reuters

© Reuters

AP

© AP

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