Athens Fires May Torch Marathon!
At least 100 forest blazes have started throughout Greece in less than a day torching the worst record set in 2007, officials said.
Up to 80 large forest fires torch Greece. The worst blazes are occurring in areas where homes are built among trees, reducing the forests, natural resistence to fire. Photo AP. Image may be subject to copyright.
Summary of events:
- Fires are spreading through northern suburb of Athens, the Greek capital.
- The government has declared a state of emergency in the area.
- The fires have spread as far north as the towns of Grammatiko and Varnavas, and are also threatening the town of Marathon.
- Thousands of hectares of forest, farmland and olive groves have been blackened; many homes and structure have been destroyed.
- Gale-force winds are intensifying the blazes, which started late Friday, intensifying overnight through Saturday
- Fire crews are trying to prevent the fires from reaching Pendeli, a famous suburb of the capital with spectacular view of Athens.
- “Much of Pendeli mountain was destroyed in 2007, and further erosion of the treeline would be an ecological disaster,” the BBC’s reporter in Athens said.
- The 2007 forest fires on mainland blackened 6% of Greece’s tree cover, killing 70 people.
- “The fires are further contributing to the deforestation of the mountains around Athens. Three of the four mountains surrounding the capital have already been stripped of their trees by fire,” BBC added.
- In July thousands of hectares of forest and farmland were incinerated across the Mediterranean in France, Greece, Italy and Spain, aided by heat waves and dry conditions.
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