Greek forest fire kills local firefighting chief

Greek forest fire kills local firefighting chief

22 August 2011

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Greece — Greek authorities say a local fire service chief has been killed battling a forest fire in southern Greece.

The fire service said the 49-year-old head of fire services in Gythio in the southern Peloponnese died Monday. It said authorities were investigating how the man died.

The fire chief, Konstantinos Kastris, is the first firefighter to have died in the line of duty since massive fires ravaged southern and central Greece in 2007, killing 76 people, including nine firefighters.

The blaze in the eastern Mani area broke out earlier Monday, and was being tackled by 20 firefighters, a team of soldiers, four water-dropping aircraft and eight vehicles.

Greece suffers destructive forest fires every summer, although this year the damage so far has been comparatively small.

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