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Wildfires burn coastal homes, forests in Greece as Europe’s heatwave spreads east


ATHENS: Greek firefighters battled forest fires on the island of Lesbos for a second day on Sunday as well as new fires in the western Peloponnese and in the north Greekevacuate nearby settlements when a heat wave begins.
A wildfire that started in the mountain forests on Lesbos in the Aegean Sea near Turkey on Saturday, scorched property at the Vatera beach resort, which is still raging, forcing the evacuation of two more villages – Vrisa and Stavros.
In mainland Greece, a new wildfire threatens homes in Krestena in the western Peloponnese, forcing the evacuation of the village of Gryllos.
“The fire has surrounded Krestena, there are reports of damaged houses, we need help,” Anastasios Karnaros, a town council member, told Greek broadcaster Open TV.
The temperature reaches 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of Greece on Sunday as a heatwave that has hit other parts of Europe spreads eastward and is expected to last for much of next week, according to meteorologists. .
In the north of the country, a wildfire continues to ravage a virgin forest near Dadia, a natural habitat for black vultures, burning for a fourth day as authorities struggle to stop the spread of the virus. its destruction.
“We’re dealing with difficult terrain and approaching winds that change direction,” Minister of Civil Protection Christos Stylianidiscoordinated efforts from the air and on the ground, told state broadcaster ERT.
Vatera, an eight-kilometer (five-mile) long sandy beach in the south of Lesbos, is a popular tourist destination. Lesbos was at the forefront of Europe’s refugee crisis six years ago. A wildfire there destroyed homes and injured a firefighter.
Greece is experiencing a second consecutive summer of wildfires this year.
A wildfire in the mountains near Athens last week damaged homes and forced hundreds of people to flee, in what authorities call this summer one of the most difficult in the Mediterranean.





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