A wildfire raging on the outskirts of Athens damaged houses and cars on Saturday (4 June) as strong winds fuelled the blaze for several hours.
Residents in the region around the southern seaside suburb of Voula, some 16 kilometres from Athens centre, as well as care homes for the elderly and children in the area were evacuated pre-emptively by authorities, as the fire damaged at least two houses, parked vehicles, front lawns, and burned through brush and forest.
No one was seriously injured, although one firefighter was taken to hospital with respiratory problems.
More than 130 firefighters aided by 6 firefighting aircraft and 4 helicopters attempted to douse the blaze, with heavy winds stifling efforts.
Greece is on alert this year after the country was wracked by several blazes on several fronts last year that raged for weeks, burning down homes and hundreds of thousands of acres of forest , following the worst heatwave in decades.
European Commission officials announced on Thursday more than 200 firefighters and equipment from some six EU countries will be stationed in Greece this summer to provide immediate support for fires.
The country also has bitter memories of a 2018 blaze that tore through the north-eastern seaside town of Mati near Athens, killing 102 people in a matter of hours.