The Greek Fire Department dispatched 16 vehicles with 32 firefighters to an area near the suburban town of Koropi in the East Attica regional Unit after a fire broke out on the side roads of Varis-Koropiou Avenue. Two aircraft and 2 helicopters are also assisting in the battle. Intense winds are hindering efforts to extinguish the fire which is out of control.

Greek authorities sent out 112 emergency SMS to citizens urging them to follow safety instructions. Sources in the Fire Department say the fire started at a parking lot for yachts.

Residents of the Lambrika area and from Kitsos settlements have been instructed to evacuate towards Agia Marina Avenue and Vari, respectively in a subsequent message sent by authorities.

According to Attiki Odos, the exit for the destination Koropi-Vari-Agia Marina has been closed, while the exit towards the destination Markopoulo-Paiania remains open. Police have placed traffic diversions at the following locations: Vari-Koropi Avenue and Herakleidon, Vari-Koropi Avenue and Agia Marina Avenue, and the Attiki Odos exit towards Koropi.

Reports suggest at least two houses have suffered extensive damage from the fire, according to the mayor.

Authorities have evacuated three schools open for summer camps in the areas near Vari-Koropi judging the front is dangerously close to the facilities, while police are also evacuating the local Equestrian Club of Vari.

The initial text message from the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection warned citizens to heed relevant instructions from local authorities: “Forest fire on Vari-Koropi Avenue. Remain on alert and follow the authorities’ instructions.”

Based on initial reports the fire broke out in a grassy area on a side road of Vari-Koropi Avenue in the direction towards the airport. The blaze appears to be located in the vicinity of some factories as well as a few houses.

Earlier another fire in Markopoulo, a town east of Athens proper, located near Athens International Airport was also reported. Firefighters have reportedly put the blaze under control.

The Civil Protection Ministry issued a series of instructions in the event of a wildfire:
Contact the Fire Service (tel. 199) in case citizens notice a fire and provide clear information about:

  • Location and the exact point.
  • The location, exact point, and direction of the fire.
  • The type of vegetation burning.

If the flames approaches your home:

In the instructions, the authorities also urge citizens to remain calm and remove all flammable materials from around the building to enclosed and protected areas; close openings (chimneys, windows, doors, etc.) to prevent embers from entering the interior of the house; switch off the natural gas and liquid fuel supplies inside and outside the house.

In the event, the blaze reaches the house:

  • Do not leave the building unless your escape is fully secured.
  • Do not enter a car. The chances of survival in a house built from fire-resistant materials are much higher than in a car surrounded by smoke and flames.