Greece is fighting dozens of forest fires in the most difficult days of the year

Greek firefighters are battling many wildfires near the capital Athens as the country prepares for another hot summer.

Greece is facing a tough bushfire season after its warmest winter and the earliest heatwave on record, which saw temperatures reach 44C.

"Two extremely dangerous fires were brought under control today in Attica, which broke out in residential areas and spread quickly due to strong winds in Keratea and Stamata," said the Minister for Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Vassilis Kikilias.

He explained that there was no longer an active front in Stamata, north of Athens, although there had been some minor flare-ups in eastern Keratea.

According to him, "the forces will remain on the ground throughout the night".

Authorities have called for the evacuation of at least eight areas near the capital. The flames are destroying cars and houses.

The ERT television channel reported that a 45-year-old man died of cardiac arrest while trying to escape the fires in the suburbs of Athens.

According to the police, the man was found unconscious in the yard of a house in Rodopoli and was taken to a hospital, where he died.

"Today is the worst day the fire department has faced this season," fire department spokesman Vassilis Vatrakogiannis said on the afternoon of June 30.

"The situation is very difficult as strong winds continue to blow, they have not subsided and the outbreaks are numerous," Lavreotiki Mayor Dimitris Loukas told the Athens News Agency.

The nearby air force base is not currently threatened by the flames.

A spokesman for the fire service noted that wind speeds exceeded 60 km/h. | BGNES