Fires in southern Greece close highways

August 8, 2012 - 12:38 PM

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Three hotels were briefly evacuated Wednesday on the Aegean Sea island of Kos because of a wildfire in the area, with guests instructed to wait on a beach while the blaze was contained, police said.

No one was hurt, and the evacuation was ordered after smoke from the blaze began disturbing people at the hotels, police said.

The fire was burning outside Kardamaina, a resort on the south side of the island, and was one of several large blazes reported around Greece on Wednesday.

In the southern Peloponnese region, wildfires raged for a second day outside the cities of Megalopolis and Corinth, forcing highway closures.

The worst fire was near Megalopolis, 230 kilometers (145 miles) southwest of Athens, and burned more than 2,700 hectares (6,670 acres) of forest and farmland. Several villages were evacuated in that area Tuesday and six people injured: two residents with burns and four firefighters with breathing difficulties.

Fires were also reported Wednesday on the Orthodox Christian monastic sanctuary of Mount Athos, a peninsula in northern Greece.

Wildfires often strike Greece during dry summer months.