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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 August 2006, 07:59 GMT 08:59 UK
MP returns home from forest fires
Satellite image shows the smoke from the fires in Northern Greece
Satellite image shows smoke over the Aegean Sea from the fires
A Staffordshire MP has told how he had to return to the UK early after being caught up in the forest fires in northern Greece.

Stafford's Labour MP David Kidney abandoned his family holiday in Halkidiki and was among hundreds of Britons brought home early.

Thomson put his family up in a hotel for two nights, arranged a flight to England and refunded the holiday cost.

Firefighters have been battling to put out fires on the Halkidiki peninsula.

Greek police say the pattern of the blaze suggests it may have been arson.

Mr Kidney said he flew out of Birmingham to Thessaloniki on Monday afternoon.

However he was told by the tour guide it was not safe to go to the Kassandra Peninsula, and was put up in another hotel.

David Kidney, Labour MP for Stafford
Mr Kidney has returned home from Greece

He said: "The next day we were all told that it was safe to travel to our resorts.

"We packed our bags, checked out of our hotel and some even got on coaches to start their delayed journey.

"But then suddenly, everything was off again, Thomson staff said that new fires had started and once again it was not safe to travel.

"Indeed we met holiday-makers who had been evacuated out of the resorts and who told frightening stories of being surrounded by flames.

"In the early hours of Wednesday we were all brought back to the UK, abandoning our summer holidays in Greece, where the temperature was 32C.

"We got back to England to find heavy rain and even thunder and lightning."

Your pictures: Halkidiki fire
22 Aug 06 |  In Pictures
Tourists flee Greek forest fire
22 Aug 06 |  Europe

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