Haze of smoke and ash hangs over Athens as wildfire burns for third day

About 350 firefighters and soldiers in Greece, assisted by water-dropping planes and dozens of fire engines, are struggling to contain a large wildfire raging for three days through pine forests north of Athens.

Nobody has been injured by the blaze between Varnavas and Kalamos, 28 miles from Athens, but at least 20 homes have been damaged.

Officials said inhabited areas were not in direct danger.

Nine water-dropping planes and helicopters were leading efforts to stop the fire, which moved deep into some of the few remaining pristine forests near Athens.

A smoky haze from the blaze that started on Sunday hung over much of Athens, while ash drifted throughout the capital.

Firefighters were also battling big blazes in the southern Peloponnese area and the western island of Zakynthos.


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