Dozens of firefighters battle blaze in Peloponnese

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Nearly 200 firefighters and dozens of municipal workers and volunteers spent the night battling a big blaze in the Peloponnese that started under “suspicious” circumstances on Sunday afternoon and was brought under partial control by Monday morning.

The wildfire started near the village of Portes in the east of the region of Achaia and gradually spilled into Ileia in the south as it ate through trees and underbrush, kindled by powerful winds.

Residents in the small villages of Karagianeika and Dalaboureika were ordered to evacuate overnight by SMS message from the 112 civil emergency service, though the regional governor of Achaia, Haralambos Bonanos, told state broadcaster ERT that they were back in their homes on Monday morning.

“The situation is much better,” he said. “Yesterday’s big fronts have been controlled, and now the flames are in a remote area between Haravgi and Portes.”

The Fire Service has also sent an arson examination team to the site of the initial fire, which Bonanos described as having “suspicious” origins, though he did not elaborate.