Greece: The forest fire is almost under control, there is a possibility of a new heatwave

ATHENS (Reuters) – A massive forest fire in Greece that has destroyed dozens of homes was largely brought under control on Thursday, but a new heat wave still threatens to spark major fires.

A fire west of Athens that caused mass evacuations earlier this week has been brought under control, said a fire official, who remained at the site with the aid of water bombers in case the blaze restarted.

On the island of Rhodes, firefighters continued to battle a fire in a heavily forested mountainous area that forced residents to flee.

Greece’s weather services have warned of an increased risk of fires from Thursday as the country recovers from its first major heatwave of the summer.

The temperature is expected to touch 40 degrees Celsius in some areas and is expected to rise up to 44 degrees on Friday.

Ground and aerial firefighting forces will continue preventive patrols in Greece’s wildfires under difficult conditions, officials said late on Wednesday.

Fires are common in Greece but hot, dry and strong winds have fueled wildfires in the Mediterranean basin in recent years.

(Reporting by Angelique Coutantou, French edition Kate Enstringer)

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