Forest fires rage in Cephalonia – 26 Jul 2007

Holidaymakers in Greece have been forced to leave resorts as forest fires have struck popular destinations.

Greek firefighters are battling blazes threatening hotels in Cephalonia, where, according to reports, British visitors have helped to douse the fires.

Separately, fires on Hydra and in the northeast Peloponnese have been burning since Tuesday afternoon.

Temperatures up to 45C in Athens have caused most of the blazes, according to officials. More than 3,000 fires have been recorded in Greece since May 1.

The Greek government said yesterday it would ask fellow EU states for more water-dropping aircraft and helicopters. It has also introduced round-the-clock fire service patrols and recruited an extra 1,300 firefighters.

Fires in Athens earlier this month destroyed parts of the pine-covered Parnitha range.

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