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Greece: Valley of Butterflies on Rhodes Under State of Emergency After Fire

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All fire fronts on Rhodes abating. (Photo by Eurokinissi)

RHODES -- A state of emergency has been declared in the townships of Petalouda and Kallithea on the island of Rhodes following devastating fires, the Deputy Civil Protection and Crisis Management Minister Nikos Hardalias announced on Monday.

Their emergency status will allow the areas to move faster to manage the result of fires on Sunday. One of them raged inside the Valley of Butterflies, a rare sanctuary and tourist attraction on western part of the island. Butterflies of several species including rare ones stop over at the valley to mate before they move on in September.

The fires took out power on half of the island of Rhodes on Sunday, while a military camp at Kalamonas was evacuated on Sunday for precautionary reasons.

More firefighters added to Pylos area forest fire

Meanwhile, the Fire Brigade added more ground and air assistance to the firefighters near Vassilitsi, in the Pylos-Nestoros municipality of SW Peloponnese, on Monday.

The community was evacuated earlier for preventative reasons as a forest fire raged nearby.

Firefighters were increased from 32 to 65, fire trucks from 12 to 18, and two more mountain teams were added to total three altogether.

One more airplane was added to the three in the area, assisted by the two helicopters, dousing the fire.

Local authorities are also assisting with volunteer firefighters, water trucks and heavy machinery.