News World Greek firefighters still battle forest blaze near seaside village

Greek firefighters still battle forest blaze near seaside village

Greek firefighters have brought in reinforcements from across the country to help control a large forest fire fanned by strong winds near the seaside village of Kechries in the eastern Peloponnese, fire brigade officials said.

Authorities said on Thursday that they had been forced to evacuate a residential settlement as the blaze, burning through pine trees, came close to a military camp where explosives were stored.

Thick dark smoke clouded the area, with the front of the blaze moving south in very windy conditions.

“The blaze is fanned by strong winds, we have recommended the evacuation of three settlements. So far there are no injuries or damage to homes,” a fire brigade official had said.

Authorities had preventively evacuated the “Summerfun” camp, taking children to a safer area near the village’s beach.

More than 70 firefighters were battling the blaze, assisted by five helicopters and two planes, with volunteers also helping.

Late in the evening on Wednesday, reinforcements arrived from northern Greece. Winds had dropped but the fire was still active on several fronts, witnesses said.

The chief of Greece‘s fire brigade had travelled to the area to coordinate efforts, with reinforcements also heading there.

Kechries, a village in the municipality of Corinth, takes its name from the ancient port town of Kenchreai. A beauty spot surrounded by lush forest, it is very popular with local bathers.

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