Forest fire rages on Greek holiday island

Forest fire rages on Greek holiday island

13 July 2008

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Greece — A forest fire raged unchecked on Greece’s Aegean island of Skyros for a second day on Sunday burning thousands of pine-trees but no injuries or damage to property were reported, a fire brigade official said.

“There are several centres of fire in the northern part of Skyros where there are no homes,” said a fire brigade official who declined to be identified. “The fire is not under control yet as there are high winds in the area.”

The official said the cause of the blaze was unknown. Two fire-fighting planes, three helicopters, 26 fire engines and more than 200 firefighters were dispatched to the scene.

The official said the fire has burnt some 1,500 acres of pine-trees but no homes.

Last year Greece saw some of the worst forest fires in living memory, caused by record-high temperatures, drought and arsonists.

Wildfires swept through dozens of villages in the Peloponnese, in southern Greece, during a 10-day inferno and brought the country to a state of emergency, killing 65 people and devastating the local economy.

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