Holiday warning as raging wildfire engulfs Greek military base ‘causing shells to EXPLODE’ while choppers battle flames | The Sun

A GREEK military base has been engulfed by flames as horror wildfires sweep across the country.

Witnesses heard what they believed to be shells exploding as the inferno tore through the Kapota camp on Parnitha mountain in Acharnes.

It is understood the flames started wreaking havoc at the site on Wednesday morning – with at least one building turned into a fireball.

Dramatic images show choppers circling about the base as huge plumes of smoke filled the air.

More than 20 people have been killed this week as firefighters work around the clock alongside water-dropping helicopters in a bid to tame raging blazes.

On Tuesday, 18 bodies were found in a forest were found in Avanta, near the port city of Alexandroupoli and a further eight were discovered in the Dadia National Par in Lefkimmi.

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Hundreds of people have been forced to flee their homes since fires started breaking out in the country's north in recent days.

Greece's Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias said 355 wildfires had erupted since Friday, including 209 in the last 48 hours.

Firefighting teams were making "superhuman efforts" to contain them, he said.

But the fire brigade warned more fire could break out, with spokesman Ioannis Artopios adding conditions remained "difficult, and in several cases extreme."

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In the Flias area of Acharnes, flames spread to a military camp.

Unconfirmed reports on local media said the fire had caused shells to explode at the base.

Meanwhile, Athens has been smothered in smoke and ash since a fire started nearby on Tuesday.

More than 200 firefighters backed by volunteers, 65 vehicles and 15 aircraft, have been battling the blaze that broke out some 20km from the capital.

By Wednesday, about 150 people were evacuated by bus from three nursing homes in Menidi to hotels or other care facilities.

Police ordered other residents to leave as a fire-fighting helicopter clattered overhead, dropping water on the flames.

About 700 migrants held at the nearby facility of Amygdaleza were evacuated to another camp, a migration ministry official said.

The fire has left a trail of destruction, burning homes and cars in Fyli and forcing residents to flee on foot, some covering their faces with their clothes because of the smoke.

Volunteers loaded sheep in the trunks of cars to save them.

Meanwhile in the northern region of Evros bordering Turkey, a fire burned for a fifth day.

In the nearby port city of Alexandroupolis, dozens of hospital patients, some on stretchers, others with IV drips attached to their hands, were evacuated onto a ferry.

A satellite image broadcast on state television showed smoke from the Evros fires had drifted across the country to the Ionian islands in the northwest, not far from Italy.

Summer wildfires are common in Greece but this year they have been made worse by hot, dry and windy weather.

Weather experts have declared 2023 an El Niño year – a natural phenomenon that occurs cyclically and causes fluctuations in the global climate.

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The UN’s World Meteorological Organization said it will raise temperatures around the world, and the effect is likely to continue for the rest of the year.

And despite the heat this summer, Europe's record temperature of 48.8C – recorded in 2021 in Sicily – has not been reached and is currently not forecast to be broken.

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