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Firefighters continue to battle blaze on Crete

Firefighters on Saturday morning were continuing to battle a large fire that broke out early Friday morning in a rural party of Rethymno prefecture, Crete.

Residents from seven villages have already been asked to evacuate their homes as a precautionary measure, although no houses have been burned in the blaze.

Strong winds have hampered the firefighting effort.

A contingent of 110 firefighters, five ground teams and 33 tenders are attending the fire, which broke out in an area between the villages of Orne and Kria Vyrsi in the municipality of Agios Vassilios.

Two water-bombing helicopters are also at the scene.

“The fire was out of control all night due to the strong winds, mainly towards Krya Vrysi. We managed to block a section from moving towards Agia Galini, where the village was evacuated,” local mayor Ioannis Tatarakis told private broadcaster SKAI.

The villages of Orne, Krya Vrysi, Saktouria, Agios Georgios, Agios Pavlos and Melabes have also been evacuated.

According to the mayor, all the residents are safe and no residents have been burned, although the flames did reach the village of Melabes.