Forest fire has erupted in a medieval monastic community on August 9, 2012 and rescue workers fear it will spread to the resort area. The first Greek settlers in this area came from Chalcis and Eretria, cities in Euboea, around the 8th century BC.
Our contributor writes:
Forest fire that started at isolated Greek medieval monastic community spreads to resort area
Firefighters were still trying on Thursday night to get under control a blaze that broke out on Mount Athos in northern Greece -- the location of a semi-autonomous monastic community and World Heritage site -- which threatened the resort of Ouranoupoli.
The fire broke out on Wednesday afternoon in the Monoxylitis area of the mountain, in the vicinity of the Serbian Orthodox Hilandar Monastery, which is the northernmost of the community and was damaged by fire in 2004. By Thursday morning, the fire had begun to approach Ouranoupoli, a popular destination for tourists visiting Halkidiki. The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.
Dozens of people were evacuated from holiday homes and hotels as the fire approached Ouranoupoli and thick smoke became dangerous for children and those with health problems.