Firefighters battle wildfires across Greece

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Posted on August 15, 2017, 9:48 am
3 mins
Firefighters battled more than 90 forest fires across Greece on Monday, an outbreak fed by dry winds and hot weather that saw blazes burning near Athens, in the Peloponnese, and on the Ionian islands of Zakynthos and Kefalonia.The fire near Athens was burning unchecked for a second day, damaging dozens of homes. It had started in Kalamos, a coastal holiday spot some 45 km (30 miles) northeast of the capital, and spread overnight to three more towns. A state of emergency was declared in the area.

On Zakynthos, an island popular with foreign tourists, several fires continued to burn for a fourth day and authorities declared a state of emergency. One minister said those fires had been set deliberately.

“It’s arson according to an organised plan,” Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis, who is the MP for Zakythnos, told state TV when asked to comment on the dozen fires burning on the island. “There is no doubt about it.”

It is not clear what caused the fires, and no investigation has begun into possible arson. Late July and August often see a outbreaks of forest and brush fires in Greece, where high temperatures help create tinder-box conditions.

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