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Homes saved as firebreaks halt blaze on Greek island

A firefighting plane throws water near the village of Krestena south of Ancient Olympia (ilialive.gr via AP)
A firefighting plane throws water near the village of Krestena south of Ancient Olympia (ilialive.gr via AP)

Firebreaks dug outside evacuated villages on the Greek island of Lesbos have halted a wildfire that had threatened scores of homes, authorities said.

The overnight work by fire crews and local workers, using excavators and other heavy machinery, took place before six water-dropping planes returned to the southern coast of the eastern Aegean Sea island where the fire was burning for a third day.

Heatwave temperatures continue to make conditions difficult on Monday, mostly in southern Greece where fire warnings remain in effect and national parks are closed to the public.

Wildfires in Greece
Sparks fly from a power cable as a fire burns near the village of Krestena south of Ancient Olympia (ilialive.gr via AP)

A major fire in the southern Peloponnese region prompted the evacuation of six villages on Sunday, but conditions have improved and the blaze was contained in areas where homes had been threatened.

At the Dadia National Park, in the north-east of the country, a wildfire burned for a fifth day.

Special operations firefighters were needed to access areas where firebreaks were being set up but fast-changing winds are hampering that effort.