Wildfires in Greece burn for fifth day as another heatwave hits
Firefighters, backed by air water bombers and reinforcements from Cyprus, France, Israel and Italy, attempted to control the fire that broke out in the wider Athens area on Monday, gutting houses and forcing evacuations.
“We continue to battle the blaze west of Athens. We are worried for major rekindling,” a fire service official told Reuters, asking not to be named.
More than 100 houses and businesses have been severely damaged from this wildfire and another near Athens that authorities put out earlier in the week.
The government on Friday announced relief measures for afflicted households, including financial aid and subsidies to rent houses.
Two other blazes in forests on the island of Rhodes and in the Lakonia district in southern Greece were tamed on Friday.
Climate Crisis Minister Vassilis Kikilias urged people to remain on guard. The risk of wildfires in the coming days will remain high and further heat is forecast following on from a previous heatwave.
“We are having a very difficult three-day spell, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with extreme weather conditions and very high temperatures followed by strong winds,” the minister said, adding that after a short respite, another heatwave was forecast from the middle of next week.
With temperatures expected to hit 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) on Saturday and Sunday, the Culture Ministry said all archaeological sites, including the Acropolis monument, will shut between 12 noon and 5.30 p.m. until July 23rd.