Firefighters battle large forest fire near Turkish border

Firefighters battle large forest fire near Turkish border

24 August 2011

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Greece — Greek firefighters are struggling to contain a large forest fire that has forced the evacuation of a hamlet near the Turkish border.

The fire brigade says about 100 firefighters, assisted by nine water-dropping aircraft, are battling the blaze that broke out on Wednesday near the village of Lefkimmi in Evros, an area of northeastern Greece.

The flames spread toward the tiny village of Kila, where authorities safely evacuated all nine residents.

Police arrested a local farmer on suspicion of accidentally starting the fire.

Summer forest blazes are common in Greece, and 76 people died in a spate of wildfires four years ago.

The damage so far this year has been comparatively small, although a local fire brigade chief died fighting a blaze in southern Greece this week.

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