Group arrested after fireworks spark forest fire on Greek island

The fireworks were reportedly launched from a yacht which fire crews have now been able to bring under control

Thirteen people have been arrested after fireworks set off from a yacht allegedly sparked a forest fire in Greece.

Greek authorities made the arrests on Saturday on Hydra island near Athens. It’s as Greece continues to battle a summer of deadly forest fires.

The mayor of Hydra expressed “outrage” after the fire was started late on Friday. He promised to bring action against those who were deemed to be responsible.

In a post on Facebook, Hydra’s fire crews explained the blaze had been started by “fireworks that were launched from a boat and burned the only pine forest on the island.”

It follows scores of Greek firefighters and water-bombing aircraft successfully taming a large wildfire on Wednesday near Athens that forced authorities to evacuate two nearby areas.

Firefighters try to extinguish the fire as a firefighting helicopter drops water in Koropi suburb, eastern part of Athens, on Wednesday / Credit: AP

The Greek fire service said the blaze near Athens — one of dozens all over the country Wednesday — had been largely contained but firefighters would remain on alert all evening to stop it reviving.

Officials said Wednesday’s wildfire was exacerbated by windy, hot and dry weather and appeared to have been deliberately started.

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