Kythira Wildfire Burns for Fourth Day
A wildfire that has blazed on the southern island of Kythira since Friday morning continues for a fourth day.
Firefighters are now battling the blaze in the south-west part of the island, near the famous Monastery of Myrtidion. Nuns and pilgrims were evacualted as the flames approached.
Authorities are optimistic that the fire will be under control on Monday.
So far, no homes have been damaged, but Kythira mayor Efstratios Harhalakis said the fire has consumed at least 1,500 hectares (3,750 acres) of forest and farmland. Four villages were evacuated Sunday and a fifth village remained evacuated for a second day.
According to the general secretary of the Civil Protection Service Yiannis Kapakis, the blaze has formed two main fronts: one in the area of Pitsinianika and the other near the monastery, adding that a large chunk of the first front has been encircled.
The Fire Service wouldn’t confirm the extent of the damage, but says gusty winds, hilly terrain and highly flammable vegetation make it difficult to control the fire.
The service says 200 firefighters are on the ground and almost all available firefighting planes and helicopters are battling the blaze from the sky.
A “state of emergency” was declared on Saturday.
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