More than 31 fires have broken out across Greece with at least four reported around Athens in the last hours.

Fire-fighters, airtankers, and helicopters have been spread out across the country in efforts to contain dozens of fires exacerbated by gale force winds and high temperatures.

In the last hours, fires broke out around Athens in Varybombi again, Egaleo and Menidi (Kokkinos Mylos) near residential areas. Roads have been closed off in the affected areas. Fires hit Varybombi again earlier this month and in 2021 burning most of the forest on the foothills of Mt. Parnitha outside Athens.

The news comes after another massive blaze in Koropi also near Athens on Wednesday.

Greece on High Alert as More Fires Break Out Around Athens

Fire risk map for Friday, June 21, 2024. Credit: General Secretariat for Civil Protection

According to authorities, the fires appear to be the result of arson. Citing evidence, Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias confirmed on Wednesday that the Vari-Koropi fire was due to arson. He said an investigation was underway.

Greece’s General Secretariat for Civil Protection released on Thursday an Extreme Fire Risk warning (Category 5 alarm) for Friday for Attica which includes the wider Athens, and a Very High Risk (Category 4) for the Peloponnese, Western Greece, Central Greece, Evia island and the North Aegean Region.

Residents and visitors are advised to exercise extreme caution. In case of fire dial 112 and the fire service on 199.