Wednesday’s fire outbreak near the suburban town of Koropi in the East Attica regional Unit officially inaugurated Greece’s dreaded wildfire season.

Alarms repeatedly sounded on all residents’ phones, while those closest to the fire were forced to evacuate the area. High winds made it very difficult to contain the flames, which severely damaged houses and businesses before the Fire Department managed to get the situation under control. Authorities are still looking for the man responsible, who was caught on video starting the fire.

The outbreak in East Attica was just one of 62 cases in Greece on Wednesday, according to the Fire Department, of which 46 were contained early on, while firefighters are still battling 16.

Outside Attica, the most serious outbreaks occurred in the municipality of Kranidi in the eastern Peloponnese and in the Gavriani settlement of Magnesia in central Greece, where similar evacuation directives were given to the residents.

Local authorities as well as Divisions of the Directorate for Combating Arson Crimes (DAEE) are investigating the causes of the fires.

Authorities remain on high alert as the risk of outbreaks this week is extremely high. Weather forecasts for the upcoming days warn of conditions ideal for the start and spread of fires, with the cocktail of drought, extreme temperatures and high winds up to 8 Beaufort spelling a disaster waiting to happen.

The areas at extreme risk, according to reports, include parts of the northeastern Aegean, the Sporades, central and southern Evia, the Cyclades, Crete, Attica, and the eastern Peloponnese.

Fire risk forecast map for Thursday June 20. Areas shaded blue are designated "medium risk", those in yellow "high risk" and those in orange are designated "very high risk".