ATHENS, Greece - Greek firefighters are battling a major forest fire in the Corinth region west of Athens for a second day, with more settlements evacuated overnight.

Civil Protection head Nikos Hardalias says more than 4,000 hectares (nearly 9,900 acres) of mostly forest in mountainous terrain has been burned.

Dozens of houses were also destroyed, mostly holiday homes or small dwellings outside of villages.

The fire, which broke out late Wednesday near the village of Schinos, was fanned by gale-force winds.

The Greek capital about 70 kilometers to the west was blanketed with acrid smoke throughout the day Thursday.

Authorities say firefighters have managed to prevent the flames from reaching a wildlife refuge in the area.

(The Associated Press)