Wildfires continue to ravage Greek island of Evia

Wildfires continue to ravage Greek island of Evia

Thousands of people have evacuated their homes on the Greek island of Evia as flames raged unabated for the sixth day, and boats were ready to transport more people to safety by sea.

Fires that had threatened Athens’ northern neighborhoods in recent days have burned out.

However, the blaze on Evia, a major island east of Athens, soon spread across numerous fronts, destroying thousands of hectares of pristine forest and forcing the evacuation of dozens of settlements.

During a week-long heatwave, Greece’s worst in three decades, wildfires erupted in many parts of the country, with searing temperatures and hot winds creating tinder-box conditions.

Forest land has burned across the country, destroying dozens of homes and businesses.

The governor for central Greece, Fanis Spanos, said the situation in the north of the island had been “very difficult” for nearly a week.

Greece has deployed its army to help fight the fires, and several countries, including France, Egypt, Switzerland, and Spain, have also sent assistance, including firefighting aircraft.

More than 570 firefighters are battling the blaze in Evia, authorities said.

A fire on the foothills of Mount Pranitha north of Athens has been contained but weather conditions meant there was still a high threat it could flare again.

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