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Firefighters battle large blaze in Greece; villages evacuated, scores trapped on beach

  • A helicopter operates over a fire in the eastern suburbs of Athens on Friday, July 17, 2015. The brush fire broke out on the outskirts of the Greek capital, burning across a hillside and blanketing parts of Athens in thick smoke. The blaze moved fast, fanned by strong winds and devouring parts of a verdant hillside popular with day-trippers. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    A helicopter operates over a fire in the eastern suburbs of Athens on Friday, July 17, 2015. The brush fire broke out on the outskirts of the Greek capital, burning across a hillside and blanketing parts of Athens in thick smoke. The blaze moved fast, fanned by strong winds and devouring parts of a verdant hillside popular with day-trippers. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • An helicopter flies over a fire in the eastern suburbs of Athens on Friday, July 17, 2015. The brush fire broke out on the outskirts of the Greek capital, burning across a hillside and blanketing parts of Athens in thick smoke. The blaze moved fast, fanned by strong winds and devouring parts of a verdant hillside popular with day-trippers. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    An helicopter flies over a fire in the eastern suburbs of Athens on Friday, July 17, 2015. The brush fire broke out on the outskirts of the Greek capital, burning across a hillside and blanketing parts of Athens in thick smoke. The blaze moved fast, fanned by strong winds and devouring parts of a verdant hillside popular with day-trippers. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Smoke from a forest fire travels over the eastern suburbs of Athens on Friday, July 17, 2015. Another fire in Peloponnese, in southern Greece, is burning out of control. The forest fire is being battled by firefighters assisted by water-dropping planes and helicopters, authorities evacuating three villages and the coast guard rescuing scores of people trapped on a beach. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Smoke from a forest fire travels over the eastern suburbs of Athens on Friday, July 17, 2015. Another fire in Peloponnese, in southern Greece, is burning out of control. The forest fire is being battled by firefighters assisted by water-dropping planes and helicopters, authorities evacuating three villages and the coast guard rescuing scores of people trapped on a beach. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

Firefighters assisted by water-dropping planes and helicopters are battling a large forest fire in southern Greece, with authorities evacuating three villages and the coast guard sending vessels to rescue scores of people trapped on a beach.

The fire burning in the Lakonia area on the tip of Greece's southern Peloponnese Friday was being fanned by strong winds. The coast guard said a coast guard vessel and other nearby boats were heading to a nearby bay where an estimated 100 people from a nearby settlement had sought refuge from the flames.

One of the seven firefighting planes battling the blaze had to make an emergency landing, the fire department said. The two pilots were not hurt. Two helicopters, 120 firefighters, nearly 30 soldiers and 50 vehicles were fighting the fire.