For third consecutive day the forest fire is raging in Vilia, western Attica with firefighters desperately struggling to take the flareups under control. The blaze is burning dense forest and intervention is possible only with aerial means, media report.
According to regional governor of Attica, Giorgos Patoulis, the fire front extends to an area of some 20 kilometers.
Deputy regionla governor in charge for Civil Protection Vassilis Kokkalis told state ERT TV that the situation was out of control, as the fire is burning very dense forest and we cannot approach. There is no access to ground forces and the area is so big that cannot be covered by the aerial means either.
Local mayors and community chairmen complained about the absence of anti-fire zones in the dense forest.
According to some media, the area was reforested a few decades ago but without further maintenance and the trees grew very close to each other.
Resurgence of the blaze seen on Wednesday morning
Several settlements in the area have been evacuated, but many local men defied the order and stayed behind to help protect their homes and businesses from the fire.
There was tension between local volunteers and police
Fire Service officials told state news agency amna that the fire front in Vilia is worrying because it burns a forest towards Mount Patera and especially the area between Paleochori and Oinoi.
However, there are no big flames since early Wednesday morning, the Fire Service said adding that there is dense smoke, which is indicative of the front being active. Τhe smoke has largely covered western Attica and Athens.
Wednesday noon, there are two main fire fronts, one reportedly heading to Oinoi and one has surrounded the village of Vilia.
Efforts are made to contain it by noon when strong winds are forecast to start blowing in the area.
Here are currently 370 firefighters with 130 fire trucks including the Polish firefighters and their engines on the ground assisted by 8 helicopters and 3 aircraft.
According to first estimation over 80,000 acres of forest land have burned down.