ATHENS - Agence France-Presse
A firefighter tries to extinguish a forest fire near the town of Keratea south of Athens. REUTERS photo
Six people, four of them firefighters, have been injured in a forest fire raging in the Peloponnese in southern Greece, the fire department said today.
"Two civilians and four firefighters were hospitalised last night with burns and respiratory problems," a spokesperson for the department told AFP.
The fire started on Tuesday in a wooded area in the Arcadia region and quickly spread to nearby villages, fanned by strong winds blowing up to 50 kilometers an hour.
Two helicopters, 200 firefighters and 59 fire engines were battling the flames on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, a new fire broke out Wednesday in a pine forest in Corinth in the north-east Peloponnese. Four water bombers, 34 firefighters and 17 fire engines were at the scene.
Greece has been gripped by a heatwave for three days, with temperatures soaring past 40 degrees Celsius in most parts of the country.
The country experiences numerous fires every summer that are aided by strong winds and high temperatures. They are often attributed to arson, although perpetrators are rarely caught.
The worst recent major blazes in 2007, in the Peloponnese and on the island of Evia, left 77 people dead and ravaged 250,000 hectares.