Fire crews fight to contain a huge forest blaze threatening homes south-west of the capital. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
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ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION
A large fire in a town 30 kilometres from Athens kept fire-fighters working into the night on Saturday (July 12) as it came dangerously close to homes.
The fire in the town of Keratea, south-east of the capital, raged unchecked for several hours, strong winds sparking new fronts for several kilometres, in the forested hills above the town's houses.
By evening two planes, two helicopters, 46 firefighting vehicles and 120 fire crew failed to extinguish the blazes, forcing fire-fighters on foot to stay through the night and to call in 50 soldiers from the military to help.
The fire threatened homes several times and its dark smoke and orange flames could be seen for kilometres. Residents in the area had evacuated their homes for safety.
Greece has often in the past been plagued by hundreds of fires during the summer season, some of them deadly.
Temperatures have been gradually rising since the summer season kicked in last month, reaching as high as 40 degrees celsius.
High temperatures, coupled with strong winds, cause the fires to spread, often sparked by arson or human neglect.
It is not yet clear what started the fire on Saturday.
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