Major wildfires in Evros, central Arcadia

A major wildfire that broke out on Wednesday in Lefkimi, Evros prefecture in NE Greece, was still raging early Friday afternoon.
Four firefighting airplanes, two from France and two from Spain, are due to arrive later on Friday to contribute to the fire brigade's operations.

Gusty winds in the affected area exasperated the situation.

According to the fire brigade, five-kilometre long wildfire had already scorched 4,700 hectares of forestland and crops.
The area south of Lefkimi has been declared in state of emergency and the village of Kili has been evacuated.
In southern Greece, a large wildfire erupted in Arcadia prefecture, in the centre of the Peloponnese and located around the village of Papari, leading to the evacuation of three villages due south of the city of Tripolis.
A total of no less than 16 wildfires were reported throughout the Peloponnese, with the Arcadia blaze the most worrying.

Finally, a blaze that initially erupted in Thessaloniki's large Seih Sou park, which overlooks the city, was being tackled by the fire brigade and local volunteers, as smoke was visible everywhere above the northern Greek port city.
In a related development, Prime Minister George Papandreou visited the fire brigade's operations centre in northern Athens on Friday afternoon for a briefing on the wildfires' front.

According to a latter announcement, main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras, at the head of a party delegation, will also head to Evros to survey the damage from the wildfire.

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