A huge wildfire that broke out near Mount Parnitha, north of Athens on Tuesday has subsided according to the Fire Service.
The fire first broke out in the area of Fili, on Parnitha’s foothills, and aided by strong winds it threatened to engulf the mountain’s National Park, one of the last green areas near the Greek capital.
Hundreds of firefighters aided by planes and helicopters are still trying to put out the blaze which destroyed and damaged several homes in the area of Fili.
A total of 260 firefighters with 13 teams on foot, and 77 vehicles are operating in the area on Thursday, assisted by 6 aircraft and 7 helicopters.
Forces provided by the General Staff of National Defense and the Hellenic Police, as well as water carriers and machinery of the Region of Attica, provide their help in the efforts to extinguish the wildfire.
Mount Parnitha is a densely forested mountain region north of Athens, the highest on the peninsula of Attica, with an elevation of 1,413 meters and a summit known as Karavola.
Much of the mountain is designated a national park, and it is a protected habitat for wildfowl first established in 1961. The summit is located eighteen kilometers north of Acharnes and about thirty kilometers north of Athens city center, while the mountain covers approximately 250 square kilometers of land.
Wildfires rage in Evros, northeastern Greece
Strong firefighting forces are also operating at wildfires in Alexandroupolis, Dadia and Rodopi, all in Evros, northeastern Greece, where multiple rekindlkings occurred and several villages have been evacuated.
Firefighters searching recently burnt areas in the Alexandroupolis region, which is near the border with Turkey, discovered the bodies of 18 people believed to be migrants in a forest Tuesday.
Alexandroupolis coroner Pavlos Pavlidis told The Associated Press all were male and two were minors between 10 and 15 years old.
Greece’s Disaster Victim Identification Team was tasked with identifying the bodies and was setting up a telephone hotline that would operate 9am-5pm local time (0600GMT-1400GMT) from Thursday in English, Arabic, Pashto, Turkish and Urdu for potential relatives of the victims.
Two other people died Monday, one in northern and one in central Greece.
From Friday to Tuesday, 355 wildfires broke out, Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias said.
On Wednesday, firefighters were tackling 99 blazes, fire department spokesman Ioannis Artopios said in an evening briefing, including 55 that had broken out in the previous 24 hours.
Wildfires in Greece
Last month, devastating wildfires wreaked havoc in Central Greece and the islands, leading to the compulsory evacuation of around twenty thousand tourists from the resort island of Rhodes.
Shortly thereafter, a water-dropping plane operated by the air force crashed while engaging in a blaze on the island of Evia. This resulted in the loss of two air force pilots’ lives.