ATHENS: The battle against a wildfire on Greece’s southern Mani peninsula continued into a second day on Sunday, the fire department said, with 150 firefighters deployed and several villages evacuated.

While the blaze could not yet be put out, a fire department spokeswoman said the situation had “improved” as the fire had been contained to “previously burned areas.” Almost 50 fire engines and 10 aircraft were supporting firefighters, while the Greek national observatory said smoke from the fire — believed to have burned through 4,000 acres of forest and agricultural land — was visible from space.

Five villages were evacuated as a precaution on Saturday, but inhabited areas are safe from danger.

The fire department could not immediately confirm reports from state broadcaster ERT that two firemen had been injured in the operation.

Wildfires are a yearly challenge for Greece during the dry summer season, with strong winds and temperatures frequently exceeding 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).

The fire department on Sunday said it had been called to put out nearly 50 forest fires in the last 24 hours.

Two years ago, 102 people died in the coastal resort of Mati near Athens in Greece’s worst fire disaster.—AFPATHENS: The battle against a wildfire on Greece’s southern Mani peninsula continued into a second day on Sunday, the fire department said, with 150 firefighters deployed and several villages evacuated.

While the blaze could not yet be put out, a fire department spokeswoman said the situation had “improved” as the fire had been contained to “previously burned areas.” Almost 50 fire engines and 10 aircraft were supporting firefighters, while the Greek national observatory said smoke from the fire — believed to have burned through 4,000 acres of forest and agricultural land — was visible from space.

Five villages were evacuated as a precaution on Saturday, but inhabited areas are safe from danger.

The fire department could not immediately confirm reports from state broadcaster ERT that two firemen had been injured in the operation.

Wildfires are a yearly challenge for Greece during the dry summer season, with strong winds and temperatures frequently exceeding 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).

The fire department on Sunday said it had been called to put out nearly 50 forest fires in the last 24 hours.

Two years ago, 102 people died in the coastal resort of Mati near Athens in Greece’s worst fire disaster.

Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2020

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