Large forest fire rages on Greek island of Evia for 3rd day

AP News
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Posted: Aug 01, 2016 1:27 PM
Large forest fire rages on Greek island of Evia for 3rd day

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Nearly 200 firefighters, assisted by water-dropping aircraft, fire engines and volunteers, fought Monday to tame a large forest fire that raged through the Greek island of Evia for three days.

No injuries were reported, but a village, a monastery and a small hotel were evacuated, while the blaze threatened the small seaside town of Limni overnight. The hotel was destroyed, along with a holiday home, a restaurant and a couple of outhouses.

A ferry boat remained on standby, together with dozens of pleasure craft and fishing boats to evacuate Limni if necessary, but a change in the direction of the wind turned the flames away.

The fire department said the front near Limni was showing signs of abating late Monday, but another one remained in full development elsewhere.

Five planes and five helicopters were taking part in the efforts, but were due to withdraw after nightfall when conditions are too dangerous. The cause of the fire is still unclear.

Officials said well over 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) of pine forest have been destroyed so far.

Wildfires are common during Greece's hot, arid summers. In 2007, large blazes killed about 70 people.