Greater Athens, Evia, Ancient Olympia still battling raging fires on Friday

Greater Athens, Evia, Ancient Olympia still battling raging fires on Friday 1

The morning hours of Friday morning found Attica still ablaze, with the fires that rekindled in the Varybobi region on Thursday afternoon still raging out of control and having entered the town of Afidnes.

During the course of the night, the flames managed to cross the barrier of the national highway toward Kapandriti, near the tolls, while on the other side they reached Ippokratios Politia.

Meanwhile, northern Evia was burning from shore to shore and the situation was extremely difficult in both Ilia and Messinia in the Peloponnese. The forecast on Friday is for strong winds, which have so far been minimal, creating a nightmarish prospect for fire-fighters, civil defence and the general population alike.

Several houses were burned during the night in Ippokratios Politia and a permanent front has formed along the side of the Athens-Lamia national highway, burning mostly low vegetation and some trees. Strong fire-fighting forces are battling to prevent it growing and threatening Kapandriti.

A 112 emergency number warning advised those in the village Vothonas to evacuate toward Marathon Lake, while evacuation orders were issued during the night for Kapandriti, Polydendri and the Pontion and Pefkofyto neighbourhoods in Agios Stefanos.

The greatest problem is currently in Afidnes, where the fire is burning industrial facilities along the side road of the national highway, while there are also reports of burnt homes. A number of explosions also occurred as the flames entered a car dealership, with a titanic battle underway to stop the advance of the fire.

Fire-fighting aircraft rejoined the battle against the flames in Attica and the other major fires at first light, while 83 French fire fighters sent to Greece are also assisting the fire fighting effort.
Two more Canadair fire-fighting aircraft are expected to arrive from France during the day, as well as assistance from another six countries that responded to the Greek call for aid.

Help has arrived from Cyprus, which has sent 40 fire fighters currently battling the blaze and Attica and two aircraft operating on the island of Crete.

Another 112 fire fighters and 23 vehicles are expected to arrive from Romania, 100 fire fighters and ground crews from Lithuania, 15 fire fighters from Israel, two aircraft from Sweden, a Canadair aircraft from Croatia and three helicopters from Switzerland.

According to the Greek fire brigade, there are 450 fire fighters and 40 ground crews, 150 fire engines and the Olympos Mobile Operations Centre working to put out the fires in Attica, with three helicopters and seven aircraft dousing the flames from above. Assistance is being given by the 40 fire fighters from Cyprus, the Greek army, Hellenic Police, volunteer fire fighters and local authority machinery and water trucks.

In north Evia, there are 240 fire-fighters and 10 ground crews, 65 fire engines, two aircraft and a helicopter, with support from the coast guard, the Greek army, volunteers and local government.
Fighting the major fire in Ancient Olympia are 310 fire fighters, 10 ground crews, 105 fire engines, a drone crew, the 2nd Olympos Mobile Operations Centre, two aircraft and two helicopters with support from the army, police, volunteers and local government.

A fourth major fire in burning in Mani, Lakonia with 88 fire-fighters, 25 fire engines, one helicopter and three ground crews working to put out the flames, with support from volunteers and local government.
Also still burning is a fire that started in Limogardi, Fthiotida on Thursday.

Source amna