AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
Published — Sunday 17 June 2012
Last update 16 June 2012 11:39 pm
ATHENS: Two brush fires broke out in Greece on Saturday, including one near seaside resorts close to Athens, just a day ahead of crucial elections, the fire service’s media office said.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
In one blaze, burning between the towns of Keratea and Palaia Fokaia some 40 kilometers southeast of Athens, about 150 firefighters aided by four planes and a helicopter were mobilized along the frontline.
The blaze did not immediately threaten any homes, but a retirement home was evacuated as a precaution amid choking air, officials said.
Winds of up to 70 km per hour were pushing flames toward the sea, according to Constantin Leventis, mayor of regional capital Lavrio.
He told public television that the fire had been lit by a spark from workers who had been welding despite public warnings against such activities.
Another brushfire was burning away from populated areas near Neapolis in the southwest of the Peloponnese, officials said. Forty firefighters had been deployed.
Greece confronts significant wildfires almost every summer.
On Sunday, Greek voters head to the polls for a crucial legislative election that may decide whether the debt-stricken nation stays in the eurozone.