UPDATE – Villages, monasteries evacuated as Greece battles wildfire

At least 14 villages and two monasteries have been evacuated after a large wildfire broke out in south-central Greece late on Wednesday.

Several houses and acres of pine forest have been damaged as the blaze sweeps through an area known as a holiday spot in Corinth, some 70 kilometers (44 miles) west of the capital Athens.

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

Smoke and ash have spread as far as the Attica region, the Cyclades islands, and the island of Ikaria due to strong west-northwesterly winds, the Athens National Observatory weather service said.

The fire department said 17 planes and three helicopters are being used in an ongoing operation to douse the massive blaze.

Over 180 firefighters and 62 fire trucks are also in the area, where windy conditions are severely hampering efforts to slow down the fire that has torn through forest terrain.

The blaze has reached nearby coastal areas and some fishing boats have been damaged, according to reports.

Several electricity pylons have also been gutted, causing power cuts in the area.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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