The first fire closed one of Greece’s busiest motorways, shut train services and sent plumes of smoke over the capital. Later in the late afternoon, Monday, a large fire also erupted north and east of Athens. Greece asked the European Union to send help and declared a state of emergency. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras cut his visit to neighboring Bosnia and quickly returned to Athens. It was suggested that arsonists caused the fires. Wildfires are however not unusual during Greece’s hot, dry summers. A huge plume of smoke was visible on Acropolis hill and he sky glowed orange. Heavy smoke reduced visibility. In Penteli and Rafina, northeast of Athens, children were evacuated from summer camps.
Residents and vacationers were rescued by the coast guard. People from the beaches were evacuated by navy vessels, yachts and fishing boats. At least three villages have been evacuated. A coast guard helicopter and vessel were searching the sea near the town of Rafina, northeast of the Greek capital of Athens. Residents were urged to abandon their homes.Firefighters also battled other fires around the country: on Crete, in the northern town of Soufli and near Corinth. At daybreak Tuesday, Ambulance Service deputy director Miltiadis Mylonas said the number of casualties was likely to rise. The fire posed no immediate threat to Greece’s ancient monuments.
Wildfires in Greece killed at least 80 and hundreds are missing.