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Houses Burn, Residents Flee Forest Fire West of Athens

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Houses have burned near the resort town of Kineta, about 50 km (30 miles) west of Athens as a huge forest fire is raging out of control, reported The Greek Reporter (US).

Greek media report that the fire, started at a pine forest on the mountain slopes of Gerania, has moved eastwards and burning houses and businesses in seaside settlements in the area situated between Athens and Corinth.

Residents are fleeing their homes as five water-dropping planes and two helicopters were battling the blaze.

Some residents were using garden hoses to try and save their properties, while others escaped in cars and on mopeds.

Authorities said strong winds were fanning the flames and hampering firefighting efforts.

Emergency services urged people to stay away from the area.

“We have many assets out to protect residences, and primarily lives,” said Yannis Kapakis, the general secretary of the Civil Protection Ministry.

More than 35 firemen operating 15 fire trucks are trying to contain a blaze burning a pine forest near Kineta, a beach town west of Athens.

They are assisted by three water-dropping aircraft and two helicopters.

No residential areas are currently at risk.

The cause of the fire is unknown, but summer wildfires are common in Greece.

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Reporter: Denes Osvalt
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