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Wildfire rages on western island of Greece, no casualties reported

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-08-27 20:44

ATHENS - A large wildfire with seven fronts was raging on the Zakythos Island in western Greece on Sunday, with no casualties reported, the Greek Fire Service said.

The fire, which started on Saturday, has damaged at least three houses, while a village has been evacuated as a precautionary measure, the Greek national news agency AMNA reported.

Firefighters from the mainland have been dispatched to help extinguish the blaze, but strong winds blowing in the area hampered the fire control efforts.

Among the total 47 wildfires across the southern European country this weekend, the one on the Zakynthos Island was the largest, reports said.

Greece suffers from scores of destructive wildfires in summer due to high temperatures and arson.

In the past three decades, around 1,500 wildfires per year on average destroyed 1.2 million acres of land, according to a study conducted by the World Wildlife Fund Greece and the National Agricultural Research Foundation.

The country has to spend about 357 million euros ($426 million) per year in forest land protection, said Adrianos Gourbatsis, a retired deputy chief of the fire service.

The cost of damage caused by wildfires is far larger, experts have warned.

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