NewsWorldWildfire rages north of Athens, towns evacuated

Wildfire rages north of Athens, towns evacuated

Local authorities have ordered the precautionary evacuation of Dilesi, a seaside resort town in the Viotia district north of the Greek capital, following a major wildfire that broke out earlier on Monday in nearby Schimatari.

Strong winds fanned the flames in the area of Schimatari, about 50 km outside the capital amid soaring temperatures. The area had also been evacuated.

Officials urged residents to leave the town of Dilesi and halted a local train service as more than 100 firefighters, backed by four aircraft and two helicopters, battled the blaze.

Emergency crews were also trying to put out a fire in the area of Achaia, in the southern Peloponnese peninsula, where four villages have been evacuated.

Last year, wildfires ravaged about 300,000 acres of forest and bushland as Greece suffered its worst heatwave in 30 years.

Following sharp criticism of its response, the government promised to boost firefighting capacities.

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