Thousands flee fires in Greece, Turkey

Drosopigi (Greece), Aug 6: Thousands of people fled wildfires burning out of control in Greece and Turkey on Friday, including a major blaze just north of the Greek capital of Athens that left one person dead, as a protracted heat wave turned forests into tinderboxes and flames threatened populated areas, electricity installations and historic sites.

Turkey's wildfires, described as the worst in decades, have swept through swaths of the southern coast for the past 10 days, killing eight people. In Greece, firefighters were battling 56 active wildfires, Civil Protection chief Nikos Hardalias said. Multiple evacuation orders were issued for inhabited areas of the mainland and the nearby island of Evia, while the fire near Athens burned forests and houses in its path heading toward Lake Marathon, the capital's main water reservoir.

In Turkey, authorities on Friday evacuated six more neighborhoods near the Mugla province town of Milas as a wildfire fanned by winds burned some 5 kilometers (3 miles) from a power plant. At least 36,000 people were evacuated to safety in Mugla province alone, officials said.

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