Firefighters in Greece are battling numerous summer fires that are being helped along by strong winds carrying the fire across dried foliage and forests. Clouds of thick black smoke hung over the city of Athens. People were watering down their properties to try and save them.
Authorities said there have been no injuries and there are no immediate threats of danger. A monestary, several holiday homes and several children’s camps have been evacuated as a precaution. Residents could be seen dousing their properties with hoses and buckets, anything that would carry water to soak valuable buildings and property.
Included in the battle are over 180 firefighters, 8 planes, three helicopters and 22 fire engines. There is the possibility of more fires breaking open due to the flying embers escaping from existing fire areas. Summer fires are usual for the country.
“The two major fronts in Athens are clearly abating now, we’re doing very well, there is no danger,” said brigade chief Stelios Stefanidis.
The two most serious fires broke out Saturday morning in a mountain ravine near the coastal resort town of Kalamos. The town of Marathon lies within the path of the raging fire. Also in the path is Marathon Lake, which serves as a major reservoir for Athens.
Athens and the rest of the country have been especially hard hit by the economic crisis. How the government’s cuts and measures made to public sector service jobs will effect the fire fighting for this particular summer will be watched by citizens who can ill afford much more hardship, especially property loss by fire.