'NIGHTMARISH SUMMER': Greece battles wildfires for fifth day



Flames swept through a town near Athens overnight and hundreds of people were evacuated by ferry from the island of Evia east of the capital as wildfires burned across Greece for a fifth day on Saturday.


The fire on Mount Parnitha on the outskirts of Athens has forced the evacuation of thousands of people since late Thursday, with emergency crews facing winds and high temperatures as they battled to contain it.


The flames appeared to die down by Saturday afternoon, but winds were forecast to strengthen, meaning there was still a high threat they would flare again.


“Under no circumstances can we be complacent,” Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said during an emergency briefing. “We are fighting a very big battle.”


Wildfires have erupted in many parts of the country amid Greece’s worst heatwave in more than 30 years, tearing through swathes of forestland, destroying homes and businesses and killing animals.