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Fire on the Island of Samos Fully Under Control, Fire Brigade Reports

ATHENS –The major fire on the island of Samos was fully under control by 14:30 on Friday after burning huge tracts of forest on the island since Thursday afternoon, the fire brigade reported.

Strong fire-fighting forces from the island and other parts of Greece remain at the scene to prevent any rekindling of the blaze.

The fire on the island of Samos was presenting a better picture than it was, the head of the fire brigade, Lieutenant General Stefanos Kolokouris reported, in statements to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Friday morning.

"The perimeter of the fire is extensive, while we have a widespread individual blazes. We are doing everything possible," he said.

Kolokouris arrived on the island on Thursday, with the National Civil Defence Director Theodosios Dimakogiannis, to coordinate the fire-fighting effort.

"At this time the fire is in a gorge in the Vourliotes area, while the winds are around 3-4 Beaufort," he said, adding that an evacuation order had been issued for Kokkari as a precaution but the residents did not finally have to leave as the fire was dealt with before it reached them.

The fire broke out near Vourliotes on Thursday afternoon. A total of 120 fire fighters and 40 fire engines have been mobilised to put out the fire, assisted by five fire-fighting aircraft, volunteer fire fighters and municipality earth-moving machinery and water trucks.

Another 52 fire fighters and 22 vehicles are due to arrive from Piraeus by ferry as reinforcements.

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