Athens mountain fire forces citizens to flee their homes

Greek fire fighters struggling to put out fire in eastern Athens and in southern Peloponnese

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Fire fighters in Greece are battling to keep wildfires on Ymittos mountain in Athens and the country’s southern Peloponnese region that started earlier today from spreading.  

Fire aircrafts, fire staff and volunteers are trying to keep the flames away from residential areas, but winds are making their job harder.

The fire in Athens has reached the area of Kareas as firefighters struggle to prevent  from reaching the Argiroupoli and Ilioupoli areas.

“There is no danger for the houses alongside the mountain,” said Vasileios Kritikos, Vice Mayor of Argiroupoli area.

“We indeed lost an important part of the mountain that we have been trying to keep alive for many years,” he added.

Kritikos also requested from Greek citizens not to drive close to the area as they make difficulties for their job to be carried out efficiently.

According to Fire Department spokesperson Nikos Tsogas, 140 firefighters are at the area along with 70 fire vehicles, seven aircrafts and four helicopters.

Saint Ioannis Monastery and "The Smile of the Child,” a non-profit organisation that concentrates on children rights, which are very close to the fire, were evacuated as a precaution.

Similarly, in the Peloponnese, several villages were evacuated to secure residents.

"It's hellish right now, there are hundreds of pockets of fire," Iraklis Trichilis, mayor of the town of Monemvassia said.

TRTWorld and agencies