Hundreds of fire fighters battle wild fires in Greece as smoke blankets Athens


More than 180 firefighters backed by water-dropping aircraft were battling a wildfire on Tuesday on an island north of Athens that left the Greek capital blanketed in smoke.

The blaze on the island of Evia was burning through a nature reserve in a thick pine forest where access by land was difficult.

The fire department sent reinforcements to the area, bringing the total number of firefighters to 189. Six water-dropping planes and five helicopters were deployed.

The inhabitants of three villages were put on alert for potential evacuation if the fire approached.

Dozens more firefighters were tackling a forest fire on the northern island of Thassos, where 46 firefighters, two planes and a helicopter were deployed. A third wildfire was burning through brush and dried weeds near Thebes, northwest of Athens.


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