Greek wildfire burns through pine forest for 4th day

An helicopter operates during a wildfire in Vilia area some 60 kilometers (37 miles) northwest of Athens, Greece, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. A major wildfire northwest of the Greek capital devoured large tracts of pine forest for a third day and threatened a large village as hundreds of firefighters, assisted by water-dropping planes and helicopters, battled the flames Wednesday. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Hundreds of Greek and Polish firefighters were battling a major wildfire decimating a pine forest for a fourth day Thursday northwest of the Greek capital.

The fire near the village of Vilia, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Athens, has already burned through thousands of hectares and led to evacuation orders being issued for several villages in the area. Strong winds forecast for later in the day could complicate firefighting efforts.

The fire department said 427 firefighters, including 143 from Poland, along with 149 vehicles were battling the flames. Five water-dropping planes and five helicopters were providing air support, while the army sent manpower and machinery.