Greek firefighters battle two new blazes near Athens and on island of Evia

Greek firefighters battle two new blazes near Athens and on island of Evia

Greek authorities are battling fresh fires near the capital city Athens and on the island of Evia.

The first broke out on Monday morning on Evia, which was decimated earlier this month by a blaze that burned for more than 10 days.

Two neighbourhoods have been evacuated in Fygia as strong winds complicate efforts to contain the flames.

A second fire was burning in the Vilia area northwest of Athens, where a major blaze was brought under control on Friday after burning for five days.

The fire was moving towards the seaside resort of Marmari, 200 km northeast of Athens, where authorities were also preparing to evacuate the population by boat, according to the Athens News Agency (ANA).

Greece’s fire department had scrambled firefighting helicopters, water bombers, and ground forces to assist with the effort.

In total, more than 116,000 hectares have been burnt in Greece since the end of July. Hundreds of homes and small businesses have been destroyed in Evia, in parts of the Peloponnese, and on the outskirts of the capital.

Two people, including a volunteer firefighter, have died this summer and at least four others have been hospitalised with burn injuries.

Civil protection authorities had warned on Sunday that Greece was at "high risk" of fires in several parts of the country.

Scientists say there is little doubt that climate change from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas is driving more extreme events.

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