Greece: Wildfire approaches birthplace of Olympic Games

Associated Press

Athens, Greece — Greek authorities say a wildfire has come within 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) of Ancient Olympia — birthplace of the Olympic Games — as several large forest fires continued to burn around the country.

Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou told state-run television that firefighters stopped the blaze in the Peloponnese region of southern Greece at the Alpheios River, south of Olympia, before the wind changed direction and pushed the fire away from the ancient site.

By nightfall on Wednesday, two water-dropping planes had been deployed along with dozens of firefighters and local volunteers.

Koniordou says the ministry had requested more resources to protect the site where an Olympic flame-lighting ceremony is held every two years for the summer and winter games.

The area suffered extensive damage from major fires a decade ago.