Residents Flee as Athens Wildfire Intensifies

Residents from the northern suburbs of Greece have started evacuating after wildfires started spreading to residential areas.

As of Tuesday, the fire that started in the nearby heavily forested area of Kryonerisent started spreading while its smoke blanketed the capital and prompted multiple evacuations near Tatoi, 20km (12.5 miles) north of Athens.

Residents were forced to flee their homes in cars and on motorcycles and headed towards Athens while firemen remained behind to extinguish the fires.

Greek Civil Protection chief Nikos Hardalias said the wildfire was “very dangerous” and was being amplified by the heatwave and strong winds.

“There are crucial hours. Our country is undergoing one of the worst heat waves of the past 40 years,” said Hardalias.

The regional government also hoped that the winds would subside to allow aerial fire-fighting engines to arrive in the area.

“If the winds don’t grow, it can be brought under control by the early morning so the planes can provide the final solution,” said Regional Governor Giorgos Patoulis

The evacuees would be given rooms for the coming nights while the national grid operator warned of possible blackouts.

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