Strong winds are fanning the Attica wildfire that is blazing at Mt. Pentelikon’s broader massif, the Fire Brigade’s spokesperson Giannis Artopios said on Tuesday night.
A mammoth firefighting force is being put together including reinforcements from the regional authorities of central and western Macedonia, Thessaly, Epirus and mainland Greece to help tackle the unfolding blaze at Penteli, he added. Personnel at all Attica fire services are on high alert, he said.
Local firefighting forces were strenghtened on Tuesday night: some 350 firefighters, including 28 Romanian firefighters, with 60 fire engines and 13 ground teams, are assisted by 15 water-bombing aircraft and 9 helicopters in this broad scale operation.
Meanwhile, Attica General Police Directorate has assigned 150 police officers with 58 vehicles to assist in the fire battle, while the Athens hospitals of Gennimata and Thriassio were put on emergency stand-by on Tuesday night.
The wildfire that broke out earlier on Tuesday in between the areas of Daou Pentelis and Drafi, at the foothills of Mt. Pentelikon in Attica, is now blazing in two fronts.
Residents in the areas of Anthoussa have been instructed to evacuate towards the area of Gerakas, while residents in the areas of Dioni and Dassamari have been told to evacuate towards Palini, via 112 emergency text alerts.
One front is burning fast towards Drafi, where local residents were earlier told to evacuate towards Pallini via 112 text alerts, and the other front is burning its way southwardly and westwardly towards the areas of Kallithea and Kalivia Pentelis.
Residents in the areas of Penteli and Nea Penteli, Daou, and Kallitechnoupoli have all received a text alert by the emergency number 112, warning them to be on stand-by for any further instructions by the civil protection and the fire brigade.
The National Observatory of Athens, situated in Mt. Pentelikon, has been evacuated, and so has the Penteli Children’s Hospital, with 36 children and 19 staff members safely removed from the premises to Agia Sofia Children’s Hospital in central Athens.
Traffic on the following roads has been closed off by the police:
– Nea Penteli to Nea Makri orbital road, from 414 SNEN military hospital to Agios Petros
– Kalission and Papadiamanti roads towards Drafi
– Kalission and Gramou towards Drafi
– Doukissis Plakentias and Filonos roads towards Drafi
– Anapafseos and Klisthenous roads towards Penteli
– Anthoussa avenue from Marathonos avenue towards Penteli