Wildfires force thousands to flee seaside resorts outside Athens

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On Tuesday, wildfires in the north and west of Athens persisted to burn uncontrollably. One of the blazes was nearing the resort town of Loutraki, causing further destruction to homes and necessitating expanded evacuations.

In the town of Mandra, threatened by the fire in the west of Athens, police hurried through narrow streets to help residents get into vehicles as the flames drew near. Previously, police had assisted nuns in leaving an Orthodox Christian monastery situated on a hilltop, which was also at risk.

Additionally, a few smaller fires broke out closer to the capital. Although the winds were not too strong, the extreme temperatures the previous week had left the scrub and forest land in a dried-out state.

To aid firefighters in controlling the fires and prevent them from approaching a major oil refinery, authorities closed sections of two highways that connect Athens with the city of Corinth.

Moreover, Greece enacted a system called rapid mapping evaluation, utilizing satellite data from the European Union to assess the extent of the fire damage.

Fire Service spokesman Vassilis Varthakoyiannis said that the main fire near Athens rapidly became a major crisis. "The Fire Service had to intervene in many instances to get people out of their homes," the spokesman said.

Officials canceled vacations and leave for firefighters, while Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis cut short a visit to Brussels and returned to Athens to meet with the heads of the Fire Service and Civil Protection Agency.

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