Fire burns among houses during a wildfire in the village of Schinos, near Corinth, Greece, late Wednesday, May 19, 2021
© AP
Fire burns among houses during a wildfire in the village of Schinos, near Corinth, Greece, late Wednesday, May 19, 2021
At least six Greek villages and two monasteries were evacuated on Wednesday night due to a major forest fire on the coast of the Gulf of Corinth, about 90 km west of Athens, fire officials said.

"The fire is raging on a wide front near the village of Skinos, a fire brigade spokesman told AFP. According to Greek media, several homes were damaged but no casualties were reported immediately.

Some 180 firefighters, supported by 17 planes and three helicopters, are involved in the extinguishing operations, the Greek fire brigade tweeted.

"This is the first major fire of 2021 (...) villages have been evacuated as a precaution," fire service spokesman Vassilis Vathrakogiannis told Skai TV.

Black smoke from the fire was visible from the capital.




The fire area, located on the mainland north of Corinth, contains many second homes but no lives were in immediate danger, fire officials said.

However, electricity was cut off in the area and may not be restored for 48 hours, according to technicians on the scene.

Greece is plagued by violent forest fires every summer, fuelled by drought, strong winds and temperatures often exceeding 30 degrees.

Last August, the archaeological site of Mycenae, one of the most imposing in Greek prehistory, was grazed by a forest fire but suffered no major damage.

Two years ago, on 23 July 2018, an unprecedented fire in the seaside resort of Mati, the deadliest in Greece in recent decades, killed 102 people and charred most of the houses in this town some 30 kilometres north-east of Athens.