Our end is near’: Blazes show no sign of reprieve in Greece

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fire fighters
fire fighters

People in Greece woke up Sunday to another day that resembled hell on Earth in some areas, as wildfires continued to tear through the country.

“We are alone. Our end is near,” Giannis Kotzias, mayor of the endangered city of Istiaia told Greek broadcaster Skai. The harbour town is in the north of Euboea, Greece’s second-largest island, which has been the site of some of the worst blazes this season.

The situation was little better on the Peloponnesian Peninsula, where a fire is burning south of the town of Megalopolis and another one on the peninsula’s western part is moving ever inland in the heavily wooded area of Arcadia, near Olympia.

The regional mayor is demanding more air support to fight the fires and is slamming decisions to keep firefighting aircraft near Athens, thus allowing fires to burn out of control in other parts of the country.

There were reports that the situation was stabilizing north of Athens on Sunday, with fire crews reporting that they have been able to extinguish some smaller blazes, according to one official in comments to the state broadcaster.

That said, crews surveying the situation north of Greece said they had counted about 300 houses and industrial buildings destroyed in the blazes and said it would take about 15 days to restore power to the region. Water service has yet to be fully restored as well.

The fires have drawn international attention and drawn teams of firefighting assistance from across Europe and the Middle East.

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