Greeks Feeling Helpless Against Raging Wildfires

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

People in the Greek town of Marathon are pleading for firefighters and equipment, as a wildfire races down a mountain slope toward homes and two ancient temples.

The mayor says he has been "begging the government to send over planes and helicopters," to no avail.

He told Greek TV that the town, with only two fire engines, is "watching helplessly."

But the Greek finance minister says now is not the time for criticism. He says, "We are fighting a difficult fight."

More than 90 wildfires have ignited across Greece since Saturday, driven by gale-force winds.

One official says firefighters, soldiers and volunteers are exhausted and "their equipment is being used constantly."

Other officials say help is on the way, with firefighters and aircraft being sent from Italy, France, Cyprus and Austria.

One Athens suburb was virtually empty Sunday after all 10,000 residents were told to leave. But a shift in wind kept the flames from advancing.

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