Greek authorities announced on Wednesday that the fire at Mt. Penteli north of Athens that has been burning woodland and houses since Tuesday has abated.
Civil Protection officials say that at present there is no active front but firefighters are still working to extinguish all small outbreaks and eliminate the risk of rekindling.
Small fires continue to burn in the areas of Dioni, Dasamari, Anthousa, Panorama Pallini and Drafi, but at present, they are being contained.
Dozens of houses were either entirely burned or damaged by the fire, but there has been no information of the exact number to date.
At least 34 people were hospitalized with breathing problems or minor burns. Nine settlements were evacuated. One hospital and the National Observatory of Athens were also evacuated and police helped at least 600 residents out of fire-stricken areas.
Earlier on Wednesday a fire brigade spokesperson said in an emergency briefing that active fire fronts were still burning in the suburbs of Gerakas, Anthousa, Pallini and Dioni, as well as on either side of Marathonas Avenue. On the map that he showed, there were scattered fires all around the perimeter, with active fronts in the above five areas.
“Our top priority remains to safeguard human life but also the protection of crucial public infrastructure of vital importance and the private property of the citizens,” he said.
The fire department said 485 firefighters with 28 ground teams and several volunteers, assisted by 120 fire engines, three water-dropping planes and five helicopters were battling numerous blazes in Pallini, Anthousa, Penteli, Drafi and some areas of Geraka.
The fire first broke out at the area of Daou in Penteli, and it burned its way towards Drafi. The blazes were fueled by strong winds, which have made it increasingly difficult to get them under control.
The fire was clearly visible from central Athens on Tuesday evening. The catastrophic fires of Mt. Penteli, only a few miles away to the north, illuminate the Acropolis and Parthenon as seen below.
Residents in the areas of Penteli and Nea Penteli, Drafi, Daou, Dioni, and Kallitechnioupoli had all received a text alert by the emergency number 112 earlier in which they were warned to remain on standby for further instructions by the civil protection and fire brigade.
— Savvas Karmaniolas (@savvaskarma) July 19, 2022
Fire at Penteli aided by strong winds
The latest fires come after last week’s deadly helicopter crash off the island of Samos, which involved another blaze. Two people died when their helicopter crashed into the sea as the four-person crew was battling a wildfire on that island.
Last year, wildfires ravaged about 300,000 acres (121,000 hectares) of forest and bushland in different parts of Greece as the country experienced its worst heatwave in thirty years.
This is a developing story.