Greece’s fires cause choking smoke, threaten heritage sites
From Athens, our reporter gives a firsthand account of forest fires putting lives and history at risk.
Athens, GreeceThe earliest signs of trouble came around midday on Thursday, August 5. Wafts of thick black smoke darkened the sky to the south and west of the Greek hilltop where my partner and I had rented a vacation house. Within a few hours, an acrid plume rolled over this previously idyllic stretch of the Peloponnesian mountains. Fire patrols began to tear up and down the adjacent mountainside. By 1 a.m., with seemingly the whole village awake and anxiously scanning the peaks for flames, the stench was so potent that we struggled to breathe. Bundling luggage into the car, we tore down the valley and made the long trip through the night home to Athens.
Even in the Greek capital there is