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Water-dropping planes resume flights after evacuation of villages in on Greek island

EVIA, Greece, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) — Water-dropping helicopters resumed flights on Wednesday after a huge wildfire on the Greek island of Evia caused the evacuation of four villages and brought damage to homes.

The helicopters focused on areas where access to dense forest is difficult by land. The situation improved after firefighters spent the night battling flames that broke out early Tuesday morning, local authorities said.

A state of emergency has been declared in the central part of Evia where at least eight people were injured, local One TV Channel reported.

Fanned by strong winds, the raging blaze hampered efforts to contain its spread. Thick clouds of smoke were carried to as far as the capital of Athens. Four firefighting planes were sent in from Croatia and Italy for assistance following an appeal by Greek authorities.

Forest fires are common during the summer months in Greece. Last year, more than 100 people perished when a fast-spreading blaze destroyed the seaside village of Mati, northeast of Athens.

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