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Greek wildfires die down after burning for nearly two weeks

ATHENS: Wildfires in Greece abated on Friday (Jul 28) after burning for nearly two weeks but emergency services worked to prevent new flare-ups in the central part of the country, where people had fled massive explosions at an ammunition depot the day before.

The blazes, fanned by rising temperatures and strong winds, have killed five people, destroyed homes, farms and factories and scorched swathes of forest land since Jul 17.

In the hard-hit area of Magnesia, wildfires reached an air force ammunition depot close to the coastal town of Nea Aghialos on Thursday.

The blaze at the depot caused powerful explosions and the coast guard said people were forced to escape by land and sea to Volos, the regional capital.

Fighter jets stationed at a nearby military airport were moved as a precaution, a government official said.

The shockwave was felt miles away, causing glass windows of several shops to shatter, locals told Reuters.

“They’ve split open, they peeled off, the panels have fallen, they are split open, only metal is left, the ironwork,” said Dina Angeli, a local resident in Nea Aghialos.

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