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Village of Melabes in Rethimno evacuated as widlfire approaches; wildfire in Corfu still blazing

With regional wildfires still blazing, the village of Melabes at Agios Vassilios, in Rethimno, Crete, was evacuated by order of Mayor Giannis Tatarakis via the 112 emergency text alert, it was reported on Friday evening.

The fires near the villages of Orne and Kria Vrisi are uncontrollable, he told Athens-Macedonian News Agency, due to the extremely strong winds registering there, he added.

More than 40 fire engines and also 3 water-dowsing helicopters are operating against fires at Orne and at Rodakino, Korakas beach, in the southern part of Agios Vassilios municipality, he added. The fire at Rodakino is looking slightly better than it did earlier, he said.

Residents at Korakas beach were earlier told to evacuate their homes, where flames nearby were burning through low bush and olive groves.

A firefighter who was earlier injured has recovered and is now out of danger, he noted.

Strong winds are still registering in Rethimno for a second consecutive day, hampering firefighting operations.

The first fire in the area broke out on Friday in a semi-mountainous area in the municipality of Agios Vasilios, between the villages Orne and Krya Vrysi, in Rethymno. The wildfire no longer posed a threat to the two villages but Orne had also earlier been evacuated as a precaution as the flames came within 80 metres of its perimeter.

There were 17 fire engines, assisted by ground teams and dozens of fire fighters, as well as two water-bombing helicopters and 20 local authority water tanker trucks, fighting the blaze on Friday afternoon. Strong winds were pushing the flames through agricultural land toward the central road leading from Rethymno to Agia Galini.

Corfu fire

A wildfire that broke out on Friday in a forested area in the south of Corfu island, at Klisoures Alevropari, is still raging and not yet contained, said the Fire Brigade on Friday evening.

This is due to the fact that it is burning in hard-to-reach areas, inaccessible by ground firefighting forces, it was added.

Some 15 firefighters with 5 fire engines are assisted by two Pezetel aircraft and one helicopter.

This wildfire is burning uncontrollably, noted the fire brigade late afternoon Friday.

Feriza fire

Earlier on Friday, additional reinforcements were sent to help put out a blaze that started in Feriza, in the southeast Attica municipality of Saronikos. The forces battling the fire, which started in low-growing vegetation in an area near scattered dwellings, included 92 fire fighters, five ground teams, 22 fire engines, four aircraft and three helicopters, assisted by volunteers and local authority water tanker trucks.

A message via the 112 emergency number had instructed people in Agios Panteleimonas in Anavyssos to evacuate the area and head toward Lagonissi due to the fire. A similar message for precautionary evacuation had even earlier been sent to people in the Saronikos area.

An arson investigation team was ordered to head to the scene to investigate the cause of the fire, by order of the fire brigade chief.