Firefighting planes resume flights over Greek island fire

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Firefighting planes resume flights over Greek island fire
An airplane drops water over a wildfire near Halkida town on the Greek island of Evia, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019. More than a thousand firefighters battled wildfires Tuesday in Greece, with the largest burning out of control through a nature reserve on the island of Evia north of Athens causing four villages and a monastery to be evacuated. (AP Photo/Michael Varaklas)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Water-dropping planes and helicopters have resumed work at first light over a major wildfire burning through a protected nature reserve on the Greek island of Evia, where hundreds of people were evacuated from four villages and a monastery.

The aircraft on Wednesday morning are concentrating on areas where access to the dense pine forest is difficult by land. More than 200 firefighters have been battling the wildfire which broke out at around 3 a.m. Tuesday morning.

The flames were fanned by strong winds, hampering efforts to control their spread and carrying smoke from the fire as far as the Greek capital, where the smell of burning wood lingered until late into Tuesday night.

Milder winds are predicted for Wednesday, and the fire department said the situation appears much improved from the previous day.