By Furkan Naci Top
High winds are driving wildfires near the Greek capital Athens in the second day, forcing residents and holidaymakers to flee.
More than 20 houses have already been damaged as the blazes, which began on Sunday, burned through pine forests north of the city.
Around 150 firefighters, with the help of helicopters and planes, are still combatting to contain fires in the coastal areas of Kalamos and Varnava.
Hundreds of holidaymakers and residents have been forced to spend the night on local beaches. Campsites also have been evacuated as a precautionary measure.
Traffic in the area has been disrupted as roads have been blocked to allow for tens of fire engines.
Meanwhile, Greek civil protection authorities declared a state of emergency in Zakynthos Island to combat wildfires.
The forest fires in the area occurred on 12 fronts, the agency said in a statement on its website.
The fire department said the wildfires so far did not pose a risk to urban areas and holiday resorts of the touristic island in Ionian Sea.
A probe was launched into the wildfires over suspicion of arson.
Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis hinted the fires could be the work of arsonists.
"Only yesterday, we had 15 forest fires at the same time on Zakynthos. If this is not an organized plan, what is?" Kontonis told ANA-MPA news agency.
Greek authorities struggle to put out tens of wildfires daily during the summer, amid high temperatures and strong winds.
Arson to make way for illegal construction in touristic regions are said to be common in Greece.