Areas affected by wildfires outside Athens

25 August 2009

published by By The Associated Press (AP)


Massive fires outside Athens have scorched more than 37,000 acres (15,000 hectares) of forest and brush. Here are some of the areas hardest hit by the wildfires.

_ Marathon, 42 kilometers (26 miles) northeast of Athens, near the scene of the ancient battle in which the Athenians defeated an invading Persian army in 490 B.C. The long-distance race is also named after the town, which hosts the annual event. The town and surrounding villages were among the first to suffer serious damage in the fire, with homes destroyed and pine forest and olive groves razed. But the museum, which displays remains from the burial site of the 192 Athenian warriors killed in the battle, and the nearby ancient fortress town of Rhamnus, home to two 2,500-year-old temples, were both spared. Anti-aircraft missiles were removed from a nearby military base as a precaution when the flames approached the area.

_ Dionysos, 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) northeast of Athens, a residential area near the site of an ancient sanctuary dedicated to the ancient Greek god of wine Dionysus. An area where many wealthy Athenians have built villas where thick pine forest was burnt and homes damaged, as the fire headed south toward Athens and flames jumped past Fire Service defenses. The areas around the nearby towns of Rodopoli, Stamata, Drosia and Agios Stephanos were also ravaged by the wildfires.

_ Penteli, an outlying suburb of Athens on the slopes of Mount Penteli that overlooks the capital city. Homes were damaged in nearby residential areas, including Palini and Drafi. Two children’s’ hospitals were evacuated. Fires also threatened a well known Greek Orthodox monastery in the area.


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