A significant number of firefighters on Saturday were engaged in a battle to prevent a wildfire from spreading to a nature reserve located in a mountainous forest area on the outskirts of Athens, according to the fire service.
Approximately 80 firefighters, supported by 10 water-carrying planes, were working to control the fire on Mount Parnitha, situated about 20 km (12 miles) north of the Greek capital.The blaze was being intensified by strong winds.
Despite the thick cloud of smoke visible in the sky over Athens, which is surrounded by mountains, a local governor stated that no homes were currently under threat from the fire. “The situation is stable so far,” said Costas Zobos, a deputy governor for part of Athens, during an interview with state television.
Due to the hot and windy conditions prevalent across much of the country, authorities have advised people to avoid forest areas. Meteorologists have predicted that the winds are not likely to subside before Sunday.
Wildfires are a common occurrence in the Mediterranean country, but they have become increasingly devastating in recent years as summers have grown hotter, drier, and windier, which scientists attribute to the effects of climate change.
Following last summer’s deadly forest fires and the country’s hottest winter on record, Greece has developed a new approach that includes deploying an additional fire truck to each new blaze, accelerating air support, and clearing forests.
A significant portion of Mount Parnitha’s nature reserve, which is densely populated with pine and fir trees, was destroyed by a large fire in 2007.