Planes resume flights over fire

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Water-dropping planes and helicopters resumed flights at first light today 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 were concentrating on areas where access to the dense pine forest was difficult by land. More than 200 firefighters had been battling the wildfire, which broke out at around 3 a.m. Tuesday morning. One volunteer firefighter was hospitalized after suffering burns.

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. The nature reserve is part of the European Union’s Natura 2000 network of protected areas.