UPDATE - Wildfire kills 80-year-old shepherd in central Greece

UPDATE - Wildfire kills 80-year-old shepherd in central Greece

Raging blazes trigger evacuations, burn vast area of forest, says local media

CHANGES DECK AND HEADLINE, ADDS ANOTHER DEADLY WILDFIRE IN CENTRAL GREECE, EDITS THROUGHOUT

By Ahmet Gencturk

ATHENS (AA) - A wildfire that broke out in central Greece on Monday morning killed an 80-year-old shepherd, said local media.

The body of the shepherd, who went to save his flock after receiving an emergency SMS warning local residents about the fire around the town of Prodromos Viotias, was spotted by another local, said public broadcaster ERT.

It added that the fire forced the evacuation of two settlements in the area.

Meanwhile, the wildfire that broke out early Saturday in Greece’s northeastern province of Alexandroupolis rages on for the third day.

So far, 12 settlements were evacuated, and nine houses and one church were burned, the ERT reported, adding that thousands of acres of forest area, arable land, and a large number of livestock and beehives also perished.

Moreover, seven firefighters were hospitalized for breathing problems and burns, it added.

Despite intensive firefighting efforts, involving hundreds of firefighters, a number of fire engines, firefighting helicopters, and planes, the fire continues to expand in three main directions due to strong wind.

On Sunday night, the national fire service said firefighters battled at least 53 forest fires since Friday evening.

Meanwhile, Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias called on citizens to be cautious amid extreme fire risk warnings for Monday.

“The fire risk forecast map for Monday is at point red for the island of Evia, Attica, Viotia, Argolida, and Corinthia. I urge you to be cautious,” he said.

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