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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-07-18

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Blaze in ancient Corinth reignites, more reported

  • [01] Blaze in ancient Corinth reignites, more reported

    A forest fire around the ancient Corinth archaeological site reignited late on Wednesday afternoon and quickly expanded due to strong winds, the fire brigade said.

    As a result of the fire, the national highway from Corinth to Tripoli, in the central Peloponnese, was closed in the early afternoon from the 84th kilometre until the Spathovouni toll posts, with traffic diverted to the old national road. The fire brigade also evacuated the Timios Stavros Monastery as a precaution.

    In other parts of the country, two fires that began on Tuesday in Ano Kallithea, in Achaia prefecture of southern Greece, were still blazing.

    A wildfire at the Aghios Nikonas in Mani, extreme southeastern mainland Greece, that began on Wednesday morning, meanwhile, spread across a large front and came very near the houses of the village.

    On the Ionian island of Zakynthos at the Artemisio site, a forest fire has been burning since Tuesday night and is being combated by 20 fire-fighters and nine fire-fighting vehicles, four aircraft and two helicopters.

    Two fires also broke out in the greater Athens area on Wednesday. One began near a residential area at around 12:20 p.m., which burned through grasslands before being extinguished. The second was on Mount Penteli, but was promptly put out in just 45 minutes due to the speedy mobilisation of the fire brigade, municipal emergency forces and volunteers.

    The latest report, meanwhile, said a new fire had broken out in the Pieria prefecture in the municipality of Dion and was burning through an area of shrubs.

    In a related development, Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister George Souflias on Wednesday announced that works for the reforestation of burnt areas on Mount Parnitha was progressing faster than originally predicted, as he presented a presidential decree prepared by his ministry.

    During a press conference, the minister said the head of the Attica (greater Athens) Region is expected to sign a document in the next few days that will declare the burnt areas due for reforestation, while a presidential decree for the protection of the mountain was sent to President Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday, which incorporated the observations made in a Council of State ruling.

    The presidential decree defines the outer limits of Parnitha's mountainous expanse and divides the area into 16 protection zones, which span regions that are outside the limits of the town plan in the municipalities of Aspropyrgos, Ano Liossia, Acharnes, Avlona, Fyli, Aghios Stefanos and the communities of Polydendri, Malakasa and Afidnes in Attica.

    The minister, who earlier had a meeting with the prefects and mayors of the regions that are on the foothills of the Parnitha National Park, also outlined a number of changes included in the presidential decree.

    One of these was an increase in the region afforded absolute protection in the Parnitha National Park from 3,800 hectares to 11,000 hectares, while the total area of mountainside placed under heightened protection, as defined in the presidential decree, was nearly 30,000 hectares.

    In addition, the decree established particularly strict criteria for construction on the foothills of Parnitha in the areas where construction was allowed, with coverage restricted to 160 square metres of building for every 2 hectares instead of 200 square metres for every 0.4 hectares as previously.

    Caption: A fire-fighting plane drops water on a wilfire that raged near the western port city of Patras on Tuesday, July 17, 2007. ANA-MPA / YIOTA KORBAKI

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