Greece Faces Mass Evacuations as Wildfires Rage Amidst Sweltering Heat in Southern Europe

Rhodes Fire

Hundreds of people have fled wildfires in Greece as southern Europe was on Wednesday bracing for the third day in a row of extreme heat.

Dozens of homes were gutted by fire in two towns west of Athens as fire brigades battled a third blaze on the island of Rhodes on Tuesday night.

Currently evacuations have been ordered for 3 villages and a hotel in central Rhodes.

Greek media reported that the fire broke out in a forest area between the villages of Apollonas and the village of Laerma on the popular tourist island. The blaze is said to have begun on a rubbish dump and quickly spread, according to Greek newspaper Proto Thema.

Fire brigade spokesman Vassilis Varthakogiannis said crews remained “on a level of high alert” following the evacuation of hundreds of local residents in the affected regions. Four aircraft sent from Italy and France were set to join firefighting efforts later on Wednesday.

Air water bombers were continuing to douse flames after wildfires burned for a third day in the towns of Mandra, west of the capital, and Loutraki, close to the Corinth canal which separates mainland Greece from the Peloponnese.

The blaze, which broke out on Monday in the Dervenochoria region, about 30km north of Athens, spread fast as it was fanned by erratic winds.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024