26 September 2021,   15:57
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Thousands flee homes outside Athens as heat fuels wildfires

More than 500 firefighters struggled through the night to contain a large forest blaze on the outskirts of Athens, which raced into residential areas, forcing thousands to flee, writes The Washington Post.

It was the worst of 81 wildfires that broke out in Greece over the past 24 hours, amid one of the country’s most intense heatwaves in decades.

Civil Protection chief Nikos Hardalias said the fire north of Athens was “very dangerous”, and had been exacerbated by strong winds and tinder-dry conditions due to the heat that reached 45 Celsius in the area.

No severe injuries were reported, and authorities said several buildings had been damaged but no detailed breakdown was available. The cause of the blaze was unclear.

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