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Wildfires Force Thousands of Greeks to Flee Homes

The Greek government is facing criticism for a fourth day from the public as a massive wildfire continues to threaten the suburbs of Athens. The fires have burned scores of houses and thousands of acres of forest near Athens as flames raged out of control, fanned by strong winds.

There were sounds of people rushing, screaming, crying and even praying in the north of Athens as flames quickly approach their homes.

Greek firefighters, now numbering over 2,000, have started another day battling wildfires with the help of 12 aircraft, which began operations at dawn on Monday to contain the massive blaze in Marathon, near Athens.

Five water-dropping helicopters are operating non-stop to try and stop the blazes from approaching residential areas and in some cases are starting to make progress. The fires which began on Friday have spread across an area measuring 50 kilometers.

A slight drop in strong winds gave firefighters a well earned break overnight; many have not slept since Friday.

There is widespread criticism of the government from the public, many accuse the state of not done enough to help, some people have complained they have been left alone.

This man, who spent the night trying to save his house was critical of the local authorities, he said if the fire crosses the street where he lives it would burn everything.