Greek Wildfires Forces Evacuations of Homes and Hospitals

Greek authorities ordered the evacuation of at least four areas and a hospital after a wildfire raged in the mountainous region of Penteli near Athens on Tuesday. 

Authorities ordered evacuations in Drafi, Anthousa, Dioni, and Dasamari and asked nearby residents to prepare for evacuation.  

According to local reports, a hospital and the National Observatory of Athens were evacuated as a precaution while traffic stopped on roads leading to Penteli. 

Meanwhile, Fire Department spokesperson Yiannis Artopios said it was “a difficult day” for people in Greece. 

“We are at the peak of the fire season and the current conditions make it easier for fires to break out and spread,” Artopios said.  

Artopios also said that 28 firefighters from Romania were assisting local firefighters. 

“We are fighting it. We are trying to circle the fire,” Artopios added. 

Greek authorities said about 420 firefighters assisted by 85 engines were working round the clock to tame the blaze.  

Earlier, more than 24 helicopters and planes dumped water on the flames but had to halt operations at night for safety reasons. 

During the hottest months of July and August in Greece, more than 200 firefighters and equipment from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Romania, Norway, and Finland will be on standby. 

Last year, wildfires ravaged about 300,000 acres of forest and bushland in various parts of Greece. 

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