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Wildfire rages in southern Athens, homes evacuated

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Wildfire rages in southern Athens, homes evacuated

Firefighters and volunteers try to extinguish a wildfire near Vari, south of Athens, Greece June 4, 2022. [Photo/Agencies] ATHENS — A major wildfire broke out on Saturday afternoon in the southern coastal part of Athens, prompting a large response from the fire service as the blaze was reaching residential areas.

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Fanned by strong winds, the flames spread quickly across the foothills of Mount Hymettus in Glyfada and Voula regions, posing threat to inhabited areas.

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The Civil Protection service issued an emergency 112 alert to residents of neighboring areas, urging them to evacuate their houses.

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The fire seriously damaged four homes and burned cars, while one fireman was hospitalized with respiratory problems, according to authorities.

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More than 100 firefighters aided by six firefighting aircraft and five helicopters dropped tones of water in an attempt to douse the blaze

Greece suffers from many wildfires every summer due to high temperatures and arsonists

In 2021, hundreds of blazes in the wider Athens region, the Peloponnese peninsula and Evia Island among others decimated more than 100,000 hectares of forestry and farmland in the wake of the country’s worst heat wave in the last few decades

In 2018, 102 people died in the coastal resort of Mati, near Athens, in Greece’s worst-ever fire disaster