September 18, 2014
ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Greek authorities have brought under partial control a large forest fire that threatened villages near a major archaeological site in the south of the country.
The fire brigade says that nearly 200 firefighters and soldiers are striving overnight to fully extinguish the blaze, which broke out Monday near Mavromati, a village of about 300 people some 200 kilometers (124 miles) southwest of Athens.
Mavromati and another three villages were partially evacuated as the blaze, swept on by strong winds, drew close, filling the air with thick smoke.
Officials said the fire raced by the nearby ruined ancient city of Messene and its archaeological museum, without causing damage.
Wildfires are common during Greece's long, arid summers. In 2007, blazes destroyed vast tracts of forest in the country, killing dozens.
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