13 arrested after Greek mega-yacht allegedly caused forest fires on outskirts

22 June 2024, 20:21

Thirteen people have been arrested after a forest fire near Athens which were allegedly started by fireworks coming from a mega-yacht.
Thirteen people have been arrested after a forest fire near Athens which were allegedly started by fireworks coming from a mega-yacht. Picture: Alamy

By Chay Quinn

Thirteen people have been arrested after a forest fire near Athens which were allegedly started by fireworks coming from a mega-yacht.

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Charges have been brought against a number of the people who were arrested.

Scores of Greek firefighters and water-bombing aircraft are trying to contain a large wildfire on the fringes of Athens.

The blaze has forced authorities to issue evacuation orders for two nearby settlements.

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TV footage showed flames coursing through low scrub and olive trees in a sparsely inhabited area near Vari, some 18 miles south of central Athens. Strong winds were hampering firefighting efforts.

The fire service said more than 70 firefighters, assisted by 10 water-dropping planes and helicopters, were working to control the blaze.

Athens, Greece. 12th June, 2024. Flames and black smoke rise into the sky while firefighters battle with a fire caused by multiple explosions at a cookware factory in the northern Athenian suburb of Kifissia. Authorities warned residents to stay inside
Athens, Greece. 12th June, 2024. Flames and black smoke rise into the sky while firefighters battle with a fire caused by multiple explosions at a cookware factory in the northern Athenian suburb of Kifissia. Authorities warned residents to stay inside. Picture: Alamy
Firefighters try to extinguish the fire burning in Koropi suburb, eastern part of Athens, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Scores of Greek firefighters
Firefighters try to extinguish the fire burning in Koropi suburb, eastern part of Athens, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Scores of Greek firefighters. Picture: Alamy

The surrounding area is dotted with hundreds of scattered buildings, both homes and businesses.

Dozens of wildfires have broken out in Greece in recent days amid scorching summer temperatures, but they were extinguished before causing extensive damage.

The greater Athens area has been declared at a high risk of fire on Wednesday and Thursday.

Wildfires are common in Greece's dry, hot summers, and have caused scores of deaths in recent years.

Authorities have warned of a particularly high risk this summer following a dry, warm winter that has left vegetation tinder-dry.

Earlier Wednesday. the fire service said it had brought under control another blaze near Markopoulo, east of Athens, and on the island of Evia.

Another wildfire was burning on the Aegean Sea island of Naxos.

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