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Athens: Wildfire sends residents packing to the beach

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Athens: Wildfire sends residents packing to the beach
Wildfire in Athens

One fire fighter plane, two fire helicopters, 68 fire engines and 160 fire fighters have been deployed to fight a wildfire raging on the northeast of Athens.

Many people are reported to have fled their homes and are heading to the beach to spend the night.

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined but high winds caused the blaze to spread overnight and destroying dozens of homes at a coastal village.

Nobody has been reported dead yet but fire fighters are currently battling to put out the fire which broke out in Kalamos, a coastal area 45 km (30 miles) northeast of Athens and had spread to the nearby town of Varnavas.

“There are many fronts but the biggest one is at Varnavas. There is a lot of water consumption as people hose down their homes and as a result not enough water,” the vice-prefect of eastern Attica, Nikos Filippou, told Skai TV.

Thick smoke billowed over as the blaze burned pine forest.

Fire brigade officials said that no injuries had been reported but at least a dozen houses were heavily damaged.

Authorities had ordered a precautionary evacuation of two youth camps in the area.

“It was a terrible mess, that’s what it was. You could see homes on fire, people running, people desperate, it was chaos and the fire was very big,” a resident of Kalamos village told Reuters TV.

In Greece, summer wildfires are common with the worst ever experience being in 2007 when over 70 people lost their lives to the fire.

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