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Wildfires Spread in Albania, Greece and Corsica 

  • VOA News

Firefighters try to extinguish a fire in the Kalyvia area some 30 kilometers (18 miles) south of Athens, July 31, 2017. Wildfires are also burning across Albania and on Corsica.

Three firefighters have been hurt battling a large brush fire south of the Greek capital, Athens.

Authorities have ordered the evacuation of dozens of homes in two communities in Lagonissi, a coastal area 30 kilometers from Athens, after several homes and cars were destroyed in the fire.

Dozens of firefighters and fire engines are taking part in the operation.

Winds up to 60 kilometers per hour were hampering the firefighting effort, while temperatures in the area reached 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit).


Albanian fires

In Albania about 300 firefighters and military personnel are working to keep under control about 25 wildfires that have broken out in the last 24 hours. About 20 of the fires are threatening residential areas in the capital, Tirana, as well as in the cities of Vlora, Dibar, Elbasan and Berat, where vast areas of forest are burning.

Albanian authorities have asked neighboring Greece and Italy, as well as the European Union, for assistance in controlling the fires near Tirana and along the country's Riviera.

Two airplanes are expected to arrive in Albania from the Greek island of Corfu and from Puglia, Italy, to assist the civil emergency units on the ground.


Corsica winds, heat

Wildfires are also taking a toll on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, approaching the famous hikers' route known as the GR20.

Authorities have issued warnings about soaring temperatures expected in Corsica and the southern French mainland, and the added threat of high winds.

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