CHIOS, Greece — Two villages were evacuated by the civil defence service on the island of Chios on Thursday as a wildfire that broke out at 6:30 in the morning continued to rage, fanned by strong winds.
Roughly 20 residents from the Sidirountas settlement were led to a safe location, as authorities had earlier done for the residents of the village Katavasi. According to the fire brigade, the settlement is not under threat for the time being but the strong wind is hampering efforts to contain the fire.
The fire-fighting force has been reinforced with the addition of a Russian Beriev-200 fire-fighting aircraft and 25 fire fighters flown in on a General Secretariat for Civil Protection aircraft.
At this time, a force of 62 fire-fighters, 15 fire engines and four fire-fighting teams on foot, the airborne ground team of Samos, three helicopters, and seven airplanes, including the Beriev-200, have been mobilised to put out the fire. Also assisting are volunteer fire fighters and municipality water trucks.
According to sources, the fire started in the village of Katavasi and then spread to an area of low vegetation and a few pines above the village.