July 23 was hot and dry like any other summer day in Athens, Greece—if for a stronger than usual breeze. Most residents in neighborhoods outside Athens that afternoon were taking siestas. Shutters were closed and the air-conditioning cranked up.
In Neos Voutzas, 20 miles east of Athens, Chris Diasitis, who is asthmatic, could smell the encroaching wildfire before he saw it. Breathing through a wet towel over his nose, Diasitis stood on his balcony overlooking the forest. “I saw nothing. But my senses said, ‘Get the fuck out of here,’” he told The Daily Beast.
“It’s what saved me and my family.”
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