Greece arrests 13 from yacht alleged to have started fire on Hydra

ATHENS – Greek authorities arrested 13 yacht crew members and passengers on Saturday after fireworks launched from the vessel allegedly sparked a forest fire on the island of Hydra.

Firefighters got the blaze, which burned part of the island’s only pine forest in the remote area of Bisti, under control early on Saturday.

The people will appear before a prosecutor on Sunday, the fire department said in a press release. It did not identify the yacht or the individuals.

“The arrests come after allegations that the forest fire was sparked by fireworks launched from the yacht on Friday night,” an official with knowledge of the issue told Reuters. The official said the people were arrested at an Athens area marina.

Hydra, southwest of Athens in the Saronic Gulf, is popular among foreign visitors and those travelling on yachts.

“We are outraged,” Hydra Mayor George Koukoudakis told state TV. “If it’s true, it is something that really saddens me.”

Firefighters struggled on Saturday to contain dozens of wildfires fanned by gale force winds on the islands and in southern parts of the country’s mainland. REUTERS

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