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GreeceEfforts to put out four major fires continue in coastal Attica, Isthmia...

Efforts to put out four major fires continue in coastal Attica, Isthmia region, Fire Brigade says

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Four major fires were raging in Greece on Monday evening, said the Fire Brigade’s spokesperson Lt. Colonel Yiannis Artopios during the first of two special briefings on Monday evening.

Two of the four large fires broke out in Attica – at Kouvaras (Southeast Attica) and at Dervenoxoria (North Attica) -, one in the forest area of Kallithea (southeast of Loutraki, in Corinthia), and a fourth at Kaparelli in Boeotia (Viotia).

He said that at Kouvaras, where the wildfire is presenting a better picture at the time of the briefing, 210 firefighters with 10 ground teams and 68 fire engines are battling the flames, assisted by 10 water-dowsing airplanes and 6 helicopters. The mobile operations center ‘Olympos’ is coordinating efforts by land. The fire, he revealed, moved really fast, spanning 12 km in about 2 hours and aided by high winds.

The Armed Forces have provided 20 officers for ground teams, while the Port Authority and private owners are on standby at the coast of Palea Fokea (and at Loutraki) for emergency assistance. Additional forces include volunteers, Greek police officers, and emergency ambulances (EKAV). Residents in Palea Fokea, Anavissos and Saronida were evacuated earlier for precautionary reasons.

At Dervenochoria, where a 112 warning about the fire was sent out earlier, 105 firefighters with 3 ground teams and 30 fire engines are operating on land, according to updated information provided by Artopios in the second briefing. Up to nightfall, they were assisted by 7 airplanes and 4 helicopters. A separate news item later in the night said efforts focused on ensuring the fire did not spread to nearby Mount Parnitha.

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At Kaparelli in Boeotia, 94 firefighters with 2 ground teams and 30 fire engines are assisted by 4 water-dowsing airplanes and 2 helicopters. A separate news item said the fire at Kaparelli was contained within a specific area.

Breaking out almost at the same time as Kaparelli, the fire at forestland in Kallithea (Loutraki area) headed towards Agios Charalambos village at great speed, damaging several homes. A total of three 112 evacution text alerts were issued for Kallithea, Pefkia and Irini, followed by later evacuation messages to Agios Charalambos, Isthmia, Kalamaki and Paradissos residents to safer areas. Artopios noted that “here, too, firefighters had to rescue residents and transport them to safety.”

Some 135 firefighters with 2 ground teams and 50 fire engines are operating in the area, assisted by 8 airplanes and 5 helicopters (including 2 from the Hellenic National Defense General Staff), and 40 army personnel as ground teams and four earth-moving machinery.

In the second briefing, Artopios said efforts were focused on “ensuring the fire did not cross over the national highway,” and called on drivers to avoid using the Athens-Patras highway “for their own safety.”

The Hellenic Police has also provided some 119 police officers to help in the Attica fire, and 44 police officers with 20 vehicles are operating in the fires near the city of Loutraki. The Attica Regional Authority has also provided numerous water tanks, Artopios added.


A foreign national, who Artopios said had been brought in for questioning over the fire at Kouvaras, was released. Hellenic Police said the man was a Romanian national, 32, who had been pointed out by locals as possible instigator of the fire because he had been doing work outside.

The man was questioned by the Lavrio police but freed for lack of any evidence to detain him.

Artopios said that an interministerial meeting under the Climate Crisis & Civil Protection Vassilis Kikilias was also held earlier. In a second briefing on Monday evening, he said that the ministers of State, National Defense, Citizen Protection and Interior were briefed on the latest developments.

“All our forces will remain on the field and be supplemented further to restrict the fires, while assistance by air will be operating until the last light of the day,” the Fire Brigade spokesperson said, while he warned that Tuesday would be a high-alert day for fires in Attica, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Crete, the Cyclades and the North Aegean, while wind velocity was expected to rise to 7 on the Beaufort scale in the Aegean.

“We should all be careful,” he added, while police spokeswoman Constantina Dimoglidou briefed the public on the number of police officers assisting all efforts.

Traffic interrupted

Police has shut down circulation again on the Athens-Sounion highway due to the spread of the fire.

Specifically, traffic is shut off from the Athens-Sounion and Kalyvia highways towards Sounion; the Athens-Sounion and Saronia highways towards Athens; and the rural Keratea-Anavyssos road from Keratea to Anavyssos.

At Dervenohoria, police have blocked traffic from the Elefsina-Thivon rural road, from Mandra intersection towards Thebes; from Fylis street, starting from the Church of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary (Kimisseos Theotokou) at Kleista; and at the Inoi-Magoula rural road, starting at the Titan factory.

As to the new Athens-Corinth national highway, police said they had opened the highway but only for traffic heading to Athens. Conversely, on the old Athens-Corinth national highway, circulation was restored in both directions.


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