Polish firefighters save Greek village from wildfires

Alexandros Beltes/PAP/EPA

Polish firefighters have saved a Greek village near Athens from wildfires that have laid waste to hectares of forests around the Greek capital.

The operation to save Vilia Attica, which lies to the west of Athens, started on Wednesday afternoon, went on throughout the night and only ended when the fire was extinguished Thursday morning.

"Yesterday, the situation was very difficult," said Commander Michal Langner, from the Polish Fire Brigade. "The direction of the wind changed from the west to the south, therefore the fire was blown towards the town of Vilia Attica. Most of our firefighters acted to protect the village, in order to stop the fire from reaching the buildings."

The Polish team was part of a group of 143 firefighters who left Poland for Greece on Saturday with 46 vehicles to help battle blazes that have been raging for weeks across the country.

"We managed to stop the fire at the edge of the village. Fighting the flames continued throughout the night and today it appears that the situation is under control," Langer said.

Wind-speeds are to drop significantly over the next few days, however, Langer added, but temperature in the region are still above 30 degrees.