Wildfire rages on Greek island of Evia, villages evacuated

ATHENS (Reuters) – Two villages on the Greek island of Evia were evacuated on Sunday as a forest fire raged, fanned by strong winds.

The sun sets under a cloud of smoke caused by a wildfire fanned by strong winds on the island of Evia, in Athens, Greece, August 12, 2018. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

The fire brigade described the evacuation of Kontodespoti and Stavros village in central Evia, about 70 km (44 miles) from Athens, as a precaution.

A wildfire near the capital in July killed 94 people, the country’s worst such disaster, prompting the prime minister Alexis Tsipras to replace the Civil Protection Minister and the heads of Fire Brigade and Police.

Tsipras announced the demolition of thousands of illegal buildings in response to the deaths of dozens of people who were unable to escape a maze of poorly planned streets.

Reporting Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Richard Balmforth