50 forest fires reported across Greece during weekend

08:42, July 19, 2010      

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At least 50 wildfires occurred during the weekend across Greece, Greek authorities announced on Sunday, as fire fighters are still trying to extinguish small fire fronts in Megara, near the capital Athens.

No people are in danger, local authorities stressed.

Prosecutors in the meantime have started examining the causes of the two first major forest fires this summer which broke out in Greece on Saturday noon in Athens suburbs.

The two fires in Sounion and Kalamos on the eastern coasts of Attica prefecture, destroyed more than 800 hectares of forest land before being extinguished, according to early estimations.

Local authorities and residents suspect that the fires were started by arsonists who tried to take advantage of the string winds blowing in the area.

Greek Ministry of Environment stressed in a notice released on Sunday that all areas affected will be included to special reforestation programs.

Greece suffers from fires every summer that sometimes cause fatalities and major environmental disaster.

The latest big inferno in the summer of 2007 in many parts of the country caused the death of dozens of people.

The Civil Protection Service has placed Attica prefecture under a state of alert since last week, due to the high risk of fires from a heat wave affecting Greece.

Source: Xinhua


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