Greece battles to control fire close to ancient Olympic site – News Vibe24

    Greece battles to control fire close to ancient Olympic site - Times of India
    ATHENS: Greek firefighters battled on Thursday to bring under control two large fires raging near Olympia and the island of Evia, as the country waves in record heat.
    More than 170 firefighters, about 50 trucks, six helicopters and bombers were deployed near the ancient archeological site, the birthplace of the Olympic Games, on the Peloponnese peninsula.
    After the destruction of about 20 houses, “the front of the fire is now heading towards Lalas”, a wooded mountainous area in the northwest of Olympia, local official Nektarios Farmakis told the ANA news agency.
    Olympia, which was usually crowded with tourists at the time, as well as six nearby villages, were evacuated the previous day.
    A similar number of firefighters are also fighting to contain the blaze in Evia, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) east of Athens.
    At least 150 houses were destroyed on the island as the fire surrounds a monastery and twelve villages.
    Two more villages were evacuated early Thursday, ANA reported.
    The mayor of Mantoudi, Giannis Tsapourniotis, said the fire was moving on four fronts, with one particularly difficult to control near the Monastery of St. David, which was evacuated on Wednesday.
    On Thursday, strong winds made it difficult for firefighting aircraft to reach the flames, with low visibility due to the dense smoke, ANA reported.
    The fire department announced on Thursday that it had to deal with 92 forest fires in the last 24 hours, in addition to 118 from the previous day.
    “We are fighting a battle of the titans,” Deputy Minister of Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias told reporters. “The most difficult are coming.”
    Neighboring Turkey has also suffered its worst fires in at least a decade, costing the lives of eight people and forcing hundreds of people to flee to southern tourist destinations.
    Experts have warned that global warming is increasing both the frequency and intensity of such fires.


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