Firefighters have been battling two fire fronts near the town of Nea Makri in east Attica from 2:17 in a forest area in the Livisi area.
The second front broke out a few minutes after the initial one in Lavisi forest in the area of Agia Marina, leading authorities to suspect foul play was involved.
“We believe that a human hand set the fire. The Fire Investigator will have some work to do. There are accounts of a strange movements by a suspicious person,” Attica Regional Governor George Patoulis told Thema Radio 104.6.
“We have reasonable suspicion that it was an act of arson because it was two fronts that started at a distance of 500 meters. The front at this time (ed. 6:15 in the morning) covers 1.5 km in length”, the Mayor of Marathon told 104,6 Thema Radio.
Residents living outside the main settlement of Livisi, as well as Neos Voutzas have been evacuated for precautionary reasons, although the Fire Department said the flames are not moving towards the main settlement. Authorities have informed the locals residents in all settlements near the fires to be on alert.
There are currently a total of 98 firefighters and with 39 vehicles, from the Special Operations Department of Fire Brigade (METPE), including 4 hiker groups operating on the ground. Regional water trucks, local authorities, land machinery, volunteer vehicles and the Hellenic Police are all aiding in the efforts of the Fire Brigade to put the fires under control.
Winds in the wider area are between 4 and 5 Beaufort but the microclimate is causing more powerful gusts.
The General Secretary of Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias arrived own the scene after being briefed by the Fire Department.
Even though the fires are located in forest areas, a precautionary plan of evacuation has been set in place for the Lyreion Foundation and Nuns.