Greece wildfires rage out of control forcing tourists to flee as 260 firefighters and 20 aircraft tackle inferno

WILDFIRES in Greece are raging out of control forcing tourists to flee as hundreds of firefighters 20 aircraft to tackle the inferno.

Villages and summer camps have been forced to evacuate near the city of Corinth in south-central Greece, with the mayor calling for a state of emergency to be declared in the region.

Blazes near the village of Kechries – which started on Wednesday – have been spreading rapidly, reports suggest.

In response evacuation orders were issued for a total seven villages and two campsites.

Some 20 water-dropping planes and helicopters assisted more than 260 firefighters on the ground struggling to contain the dangerous blaze.

The fires have seriously damaged around 10 homes, local officials said, as well as ravaging farmland and pine and olive trees.

One fireman has been slightly injured.

The Fire Service said 72 forest fires broke out across Greece since Wednesday evening but most have been quickly extinguished.

Fire Service chief Stefanos Kolokouris said the blaze east of the town of Corinth was abating.

He told state ERT TV that there was no active front.

Wildfires are common during Greece's hot summers.

Some 102 people were killed after a fire tore through the seaside resort of Mati, east of Athens two years ago.

In 2007 a huge wildfires left 80 dead in southern and central Greece.

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