A large fire broke out in the region surrounding Ancient Olympia in the Peloponnese, Greece on Wednesday. Residents in five of the surrounding areas have been evacuated.
The villages of Herakleia, Pournari, Pelopio, Platanos, and Kafkania have all been evacuated due to the blaze.
A total of 46 firefighters are currently on the scene, assisted by four planes dropping water from above. They are fighting to keep the flames from spreading toward residences and the ancient site, which was the home of the Olympic Games in antiquity.
Fire breaks out near Ancient Olympia as much of Greece burns
Tuesday was one of the worst days of this summer in terms of fires in Greece, with massive wildfires raging in Varympompi, Athens, on the islands of Evia and Kos, as well as near Evzones at the border of Greece with North Macedonia.
A total of 81 fires broke out in Greece on Tuesday, making it one of the worst days in recent years. Between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, 41 more fires broke out across the nation, the Greek government stated.
The extremely high temperatures that have been prevailing in Greece for days along with locally strong winds have caused a dangerous cocktail of hot and dry conditions that enable the spread of fires.
Blaze in Varympompi burned down, damaged houses
A huge fire broke out on Tuesday afternoon in Varympompi, a northern suburb of Athens. Houses in the area, as well as in the nearby neighborhood of Adames, have now burned down from the blaze, which kept burning all night long.
All residents in areas threatened by the strong fire have been evacuated, including the settlements in Varympompi, Adames, Thrakomakedones, and the Olympic Village.
According to an official briefing that was held at the headquarters of the Civil Protection Secretariat in Athens late last night, 520 firefighters, 17 terrain teams, 150 fire trucks nine helicopters, and seven aircraft were battling the blaze in Athens.
A total of 76 homes were seriously damaged by the fire in Varympompi, Deputy Civil Protection and Crises Management Minister Nikos Hardalias said during an urgent briefing held at the Civil Protection premises named “Pharos”.
Giving an initial estimate of the damage, Hardalias said that 1250 hectares have been burned, 76 houses and 27 businesses have sustained serious damage, and 18 homes were partially damaged. “Our first priority is human life. Human life is over and above anything else,” Hardalias said.