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Greek heatwave sparks fire alert

- by Archimedes

Greek heatwave sparks fire alert.

Soaring temperatures and strong winds have triggered a wildfire alert for Greece and the Greek islands for the rest of the August holiday season. Fire services are on full alert as weather watchers forecast warm weather and strong winds for the remaining week of August.

Temperatures will reach 33°C in northern Greece, 34°C in southern Greece and 24°C to 30°C in href="the Greek islands. In the Dodecanese and Crete, in the south, the temperature is expected to hit 35°C.

A wildfire outbreak threatened visitors on Crete island holidays in the south of the island at Frangokastello at the weekend. Fire broke out on grassland around midnight only 200 yards from Frangokastello Castle in the heart of the Sfakia tourist area of south-west Crete.

Winds threatened to drive flames towards holiday homes in the area which is very popular with holiday visitors. Firefighters with seven vehicles fought the blaze and local residents brought tractors and other agricultural machinery to stop the blaze spreading to residential areas.

According to the Crete Fire Department the fire burned more than five acres of grassland and five acres of agricultural land before it was brought under control.

In the latest mainland outbreaks firefighters fought a blaze in the forested mountainous terrain at Salamis and in Arcadia a fire broke out in a forested area near Tropea.

Hiking holidaymakers helped in the fight to contain a wildfire in a wooded area near Agios Nikolaos at Spata Lehena. A total of 24 firefighters with ten vehicles, three aircraft and one helicopter tackled the blaze and they were joined by two groups of hikers. The fire did not threaten populated areas.