For the fourth day, the forests to the west of Athens are burning. Hundreds of firefighters from Greece and Poland were thrown to fight the fires, with the participation of Russian BE-200 and IL-76 aircraft, MI-8 helicopters and even the only fire tank in Greece.
A fire near the village of Viliya, about 60 kilometers from Athens, has already engulfed thousands of hectares and has resulted in evacuation orders being issued to residents of several villages in the area.
The fire department said 427 firefighters, including 143 from Poland, as well as 149 fire trucks are taking part in the fight against the fire. 7 planes throw water on fire, incl. Russian “Beriev-200” and IL-76. Seven helicopters are involved, including the Russian MI-8, which provide air support for firefighters. The army sent manpower and equipment.
Early Thursday morning, at the suggestion of the fire brigade, a preventive evacuation was carried out from the settlements of Panormu, Karauli, Agia Sotira and Paleochori, but without a message from 112. Many residents flatly refused.
According to the fire department, the constant change in wind direction creates serious problems for firefighters.
According to the Deputy Governor of West Attica, Mr. Cosmopoulos, who spoke at the Open, the flames threaten the homes in Karauli and Thea. “There are about 600 residents in the village, who are heading to Mandra,” he said and added that “patrols went from house to house, but there were no messages from 112.” Strong ground forces remained all night in the area, as there is no united front, but scattered fires.
The OLYMPUS Mobile Operations Center was provided to assist in the coordination of forces. Help is provided by the Greek army with five groups of infantry units and construction equipment, volunteer firefighters, and water and earthmoving equipment from the region and local government are used.
A video appeared on the Internet about the use of a special “fire tank” to extinguish a fire in Viliya.
The fire brigade is coordinated by the chief of the fire department, Lieutenant General Stefanos Kolokuris.