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Greek authorities evacuate coastal properties on Lesvos as wildfire spreads

Residents were evacuated on Saturday as a wildfire which started in mountainous forests in the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos threatened properties at the beach resort of Vatera.

Thick billowing smoke fanned by strong winds could be seen in the area. One fleeing resident told state TV ERT that her home was on fire.

“We are battling to save homes,” Taxiarchis Verros, mayor of western Lesvos, told the broadcaster.

Vatera, an 8 km (five miles) long sandy beach in the southern part of Lesvos, is a popular tourist attraction.

A wildfire in mountains near Athens earlier this week damaged homes and forced hundreds of people to flee, with authorities calling this summer one of the toughest in the Mediterranean.

Last year, wildfires ravaged about 300,000 acres (121,000 hectares) of forest and bushland across Greece during the country’s worst heatwave in 30 years.

Source: Reuters