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Greek firefighters battle forest blaze near seaside village

Kechries, Greece: Greek firefighters are battling to control a large forest fire fanned by strong winds near the seaside village of    Kechries in the eastern Peloponnese, fire brigade officials said on Wednesday, July 22. Authorities said they had been forced to evacuate a residential settlement as the blaze, burning through pine trees, came close to a military camp where explosives were stored.

Thick dark smoke clouded the area, with the front of the blaze moving south in very windy conditions.More than 70 firefighters were battling the blaze, assisted by five helicopters and two planes, with volunteers also helping. No damage to property or injuries has been reported.

Authorities preventively evacuated the "Summerfun" camp, taking children to a safer area near the village's beach. The chief of Greece's fire brigade had travelled to the area to coordinate efforts, with reinforcements also heading there. Kechries, a village in the municipality of Corinth, takes its name from the ancient port town of Kenchreai.

Greece is often plagued by wildfires during the summer months often due to neglect or arson. A deadly fire on the east coast of Athens in 2018 in the summer seaside resort of Mati killed 100, including children, in the space of hours, in one of the worst fires in the country's history.

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