The fire destroyed plants south of the Greek capital as strong winds blew. Fewer than 300 firefighters were mobilized so residents could return to their homes.
Greek firefighters were able to contain a violent fire in the southern suburbs of Athens, where residents were able to return to their homes, emergency services said Sunday. “At this point the fire has been contained and residents have returned to their homes,” Deputy Civil Defense Minister Evangelos Turnas told a news conference.
As a precaution many firefighters have been stationed in the area and “will stay as long as needed, while planes will continue to drop water,” he said. A total of 283 firefighters in 65 vehicles, with the help of crews, managed to contain the blaze overnight. Two fire engines and two helicopters were in operation early Sunday morning.
With the fire under control, authorities said they were on high alert if it started again.
The fire, caused by strong winds, destroyed vegetation in the southern suburbs of Athens on Saturday, forcing several residents to evacuate. Greek civil defense has called on 112 residents of Ano Vola and surrounding areas to evacuate as the blaze has already reached the residential area.
Giorgos Babanikolov, the mayor of Clifada, who caused the fire, explained without elaborating that a high-voltage power station was to blame for the disaster. In the afternoon, near Athens, another fire broke out in Gouras, but residential areas were not threatened.
Authorities blame Greece’s worst heat wave and climate change last summer, destroying more than 100,000 hectares of forest and farmland, the worst fire damage since 2007.
More than 200 firefighters and equipment provided by other EU (EU) countries will soon be sent to Greece to assist in the fight against this wildfire. The European Commission has announced that Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Romania and Norway will take part in the operation, which will be coordinated by the European Union’s Civil Defense Mechanism.
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