Smoke from a forest fire travels over the eastern suburbs of Athens on Friday, July 17, 2015.

‘The fire has already passed through two villages, burning homes, ‘ Iraklis Trichilis, mayor of the town of Monemvassia, told Skai television. The forest fire is being battled by firefighters a… The forest fire is being battled by firefighters assisted…

Strong winds fanned smoke across southern Athens as a blaze on the Ymittos mountain, in the suburb of Karea, threatened inhabited areas of Ilioupoli and Vironas, according to the fire department. A coast guard vessel and other nearby boats were heading to a bay where an estimated 100 people had sought refuge from the flames.

“We have evacuated two villages and a summer camp”, Mavropoulos said, adding that the operation was complicated by mountainous terrain and near-gale winds.

Two pilots were injured when their firefighting plane had to make an emergency landing. They were not seriously hurt. The brush fire broke out on the outskirts of the Greek capital, burning across a hillside and blanketing parts of Athens in thick smoke. Strong winds were helping the flames devour parts of the verdant mountainside popular with day-trippers. At least 45 firefighters with 18 vehicles, one firefighting plane and two helicopters were battling the blaze, along with volunteers from neighborhoods near the flames.

Fires also broke out in Koropi, near Athens; at Malakasa, north of the capital; on the island of Evia; and in Argolida in southern Greece.

The Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, said help from the army and the air force, and the European emergency response centre had been requested.