An arson suspect was caught on camera on Thursday in relation to the fire that broke out on the densely-forested Mt Penteli just outside of Athens, Greece on Tuesday.
According to the Greek television network Alpha, locals saw a man lingering near the forest and making strange movements on Tuesday just before the fire broke out.
Once the fire started, he seemed to try to flee the area quickly unaware that he was being watched by the neighbors.
While the fires have not been officially linked to arson and could have occurred due to strong winds and high temperatures, arson cannot be ruled out as a potential cause.
“We can’t rule out anything…we will have a better picture when the fire department finishes its investigation,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated on Wednesday evening.
Arson suspect in Penteli fires caught on camera
Wednesday was the second day hundreds of firefighters battled the fire, which broke out on the slopes of Penteli. Residents of the towns of Anthousa and Drafi were told to evacuate, as the flames approached residential areas.
The fire department announced that 485 firefighters were being assisted by 28 ground teams and several volunteers, as well as by 120 fire engines, three water-dropping planes, and five helicopters, all of which are battling numerous blazes in Pallini, Anthousa, Penteli, Drafi, and certain areas of Geraka.
The blazes are fueled by strong winds, which have made it increasingly difficult to get them under control.
Civil Protection officials stated that as of Wednesday evening, there was no active front, but firefighters are still working to extinguish all small outbreaks and eliminate the risk of rekindling.
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 six hundred residents out of fire-stricken areas.