Thousands of tourists and locals are evacuated as Greece continues to be ravaged by wildfires

Thousands of tourists and residents have been evacuated across Greece as the country continues to be ravaged by wildfires during its worst heatwave in decades.  

A thick cloud of smoke and ash hung over Athens as forests fires that have already killed two people continued to rage across Greece.  

At least 1,450 Greek firefighters were battling the infernos along with 15 aircraft, with reinforcements arriving from other countries, the fire service said, with the blazes set to continue over the weekend with strong winds and temperatures of up to 38C (100F). 

Greece and Turkey have been fighting devastating fires for more than a week as the region suffers its worst heatwave in decades – officials and experts linking such intense weather events to climate change.     

GREECE: Thousands of residents and tourists were evacuated from Thrakomakedones, north of Athens, early on Saturday as wildfires continued to spread across the country

GREECE: Thousands of residents and tourists were evacuated from Thrakomakedones, north of Athens, early on Saturday as wildfires continued to spread across the country

GREECE: Thousands of residents and tourists were evacuated from Thrakomakedones, north of Athens, early on Saturday as wildfires continued to spread across the country

Thousands more tourists and residents have been evacuated across Greece as the country continues to be ravaged by wildfires during its worst heatwave in decades

Thousands more tourists and residents have been evacuated across Greece as the country continues to be ravaged by wildfires during its worst heatwave in decades

Thousands more tourists and residents have been evacuated across Greece as the country continues to be ravaged by wildfires during its worst heatwave in decades

GREECE: A thick cloud of smoke and ash hung over Athens and the island of Evia, about 160km outside the capital, as forests fires that have already killed two people continued to rage on Saturday

GREECE: A thick cloud of smoke and ash hung over Athens and the island of Evia, about 160km outside the capital, as forests fires that have already killed two people continued to rage on Saturday

GREECE: A thick cloud of smoke and ash hung over Athens and the island of Evia, about 160km outside the capital, as forests fires that have already killed two people continued to rage on Saturday

At least 1,450 Greek firefighters were battling the infernos along with 15 aircraft, with reinforcements arriving from other countries as blazes continued across Greece fanned by strong winds and hot weather

At least 1,450 Greek firefighters were battling the infernos along with 15 aircraft, with reinforcements arriving from other countries as blazes continued across Greece fanned by strong winds and hot weather

At least 1,450 Greek firefighters were battling the infernos along with 15 aircraft, with reinforcements arriving from other countries as blazes continued across Greece fanned by strong winds and hot weather

A helicopter drops water over fire in Thrakomacedones area, in northern Athens, on Saturday after thousands of tourists and residents were evacuated overnight

A helicopter drops water over fire in Thrakomacedones area, in northern Athens, on Saturday after thousands of tourists and residents were evacuated overnight

A helicopter drops water over fire in Thrakomacedones area, in northern Athens, on Saturday after thousands of tourists and residents were evacuated overnight








The Greek fire service said on Saturday blazes were raging in the Attica peninsula that includes Athens, in Evia, the country’s second largest island and located east of the capital, and the Peloponnese region in the southwest.

One of two people killed in Greece was named as Konstantinos Michalos, the president of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He was found unconscious in a factory in Krioneri and was later confirmed dead in hospital.

On Friday, a 38-year-old man from Ippokrateio, a town north of Athens that has been ravaged by the flames, died in hospital after being hit by a falling electric pole as he was riding a moped.  

A further 18 people have been injured, most with respiratory problems or minor burns, and two volunteer firefighters have been hospitalised in a critical condition, local media reported. 

It is the latest in a disaster that officials and experts have linked to increasingly frequent and intense weather events caused by climate change.

A UN draft report seen by AFP has warned that the Mediterranean region, which it called a ‘climate change hotspot,’ will be hit by fiercer heatwaves, droughts and fires supercharged by rising temperatures. 

GREECE: Locals evacuated the suburb of Thrakomakedones, north of Athens, early on Saturday as wildfires that have been burning across the country for eleven days reached the town

GREECE: Locals evacuated the suburb of Thrakomakedones, north of Athens, early on Saturday as wildfires that have been burning across the country for eleven days reached the town

GREECE: Locals evacuated the suburb of Thrakomakedones, north of Athens, early on Saturday as wildfires that have been burning across the country for eleven days reached the town

GREECE: A car is engulfed in flames as a wildfire rages in the suburb of Thrakomakedones, north of Athens, early on Saturday as the death toll from the blazes hit two

GREECE: A car is engulfed in flames as a wildfire rages in the suburb of Thrakomakedones, north of Athens, early on Saturday as the death toll from the blazes hit two

GREECE: A car is engulfed in flames as a wildfire rages in the suburb of Thrakomakedones, north of Athens, early on Saturday as the death toll from the blazes hit two

GREECE: Firefighters tackled the wildfires into Friday night as thousands more tourists and residents were evacuated as the blazes continue to rage, fanned by strong wind

GREECE: Firefighters tackled the wildfires into Friday night as thousands more tourists and residents were evacuated as the blazes continue to rage, fanned by strong wind

GREECE: Firefighters tackled the wildfires into Friday night as thousands more tourists and residents were evacuated as the blazes continue to rage, fanned by strong winds

GREECE: The Greek fire service said on Saturday blazes were raging in the Attica peninsula that includes Athens, in Evia, the country's second largest island and located east of the capital, and the Peloponnese region in the southwest

GREECE: The Greek fire service said on Saturday blazes were raging in the Attica peninsula that includes Athens, in Evia, the country's second largest island and located east of the capital, and the Peloponnese region in the southwest

GREECE: The Greek fire service said on Saturday blazes were raging in the Attica peninsula that includes Athens, in Evia, the country’s second largest island and located east of the capital, and the Peloponnese region in the southwest

GREECE: A further 18 people have been injured, most with respiratory problems or minor burns, and two volunteer firefighters have been hospitalised in a critical condition following wildfires

GREECE: A further 18 people have been injured, most with respiratory problems or minor burns, and two volunteer firefighters have been hospitalised in a critical condition following wildfires

GREECE: A further 18 people have been injured, most with respiratory problems or minor burns, and two volunteer firefighters have been hospitalised in a critical condition following wildfires

At least 1,450 Greek firefighters were battling the infernos along with 15 aircraft, with reinforcements arriving from other countries, the fire service said, with the blazes set to continue over the weekend with strong winds and temperatures of up to 38C (100F)

At least 1,450 Greek firefighters were battling the infernos along with 15 aircraft, with reinforcements arriving from other countries, the fire service said, with the blazes set to continue over the weekend with strong winds and temperatures of up to 38C (100F)

At least 1,450 Greek firefighters were battling the infernos along with 15 aircraft, with reinforcements arriving from other countries, the fire service said, with the blazes set to continue over the weekend with strong winds and temperatures of up to 38C (100F)

GREECE: Firefighters tackled wildfires burning in Thrakomacedones, north of Athens, on Saturday morning as the blazes continued overnight

GREECE: Firefighters tackled wildfires burning in Thrakomacedones, north of Athens, on Saturday morning as the blazes continued overnight

GREECE: Firefighters tackled wildfires burning in Thrakomacedones, north of Athens, on Saturday morning after they burned through the night helped by strong winds and hot weather

GREECE: North of Athens, a fierce blaze tore through vast areas of pine forest, forcing yet more evacuations of villages overnight and blowing thick, choking smoke and ash all over the Greek capital

GREECE: North of Athens, a fierce blaze tore through vast areas of pine forest, forcing yet more evacuations of villages overnight and blowing thick, choking smoke and ash all over the Greek capital

GREECE: North of Athens, a fierce blaze tore through vast areas of pine forest, forcing yet more evacuations of villages overnight and blowing thick, choking smoke and ash all over the Greek capital

GREECE: Part of a motorway linking Athens to the north of the country has been shut down as a precaution and migrant camps were evacuated

GREECE: Part of a motorway linking Athens to the north of the country has been shut down as a precaution and migrant camps were evacuated

GREECE: Part of a motorway linking Athens to the north of the country has been shut down as a precaution and migrant camps were evacuated

GREECE: At least 1,450 Greek firefighters were battling the infernos along with 15 aircraft, with reinforcements arriving from other countries

GREECE: At least 1,450 Greek firefighters were battling the infernos along with 15 aircraft, with reinforcements arriving from other countries

GREECE: At least 1,450 Greek firefighters were battling the infernos along with 15 aircraft, with reinforcements arriving from other countries

GREECE: A burnt out church is seen on the in Limni village on the island of Evia, about 160km outside Athens, as wildfires continue to ravage the country

GREECE: A burnt out church is seen on the in Limni village on the island of Evia, about 160km outside Athens, as wildfires continue to ravage the country

GREECE: A burnt out church is seen on the in Limni village on the island of Evia, about 160km outside Athens, as wildfires continue to ravage the country

GREECE: Religious murals are seen in a burned church in Limni village on the island of Evia as wildfires, helped by strong winds and hot weather, continued to sweep the country

GREECE: Religious murals are seen in a burned church in Limni village on the island of Evia as wildfires, helped by strong winds and hot weather, continued to sweep the country

GREECE: Religious murals are seen in a burned church in Limni village on the island of Evia as wildfires, helped by strong winds and hot weather, continued to sweep the country

GREECE: North of Athens, a fierce blaze tore through vast areas of pine forest, forcing yet more evacuations of villages overnight and blowing thick, choking smoke and ash all over the Greek capital

GREECE: North of Athens, a fierce blaze tore through vast areas of pine forest, forcing yet more evacuations of villages overnight and blowing thick, choking smoke and ash all over the Greek capital

GREECE: North of Athens, a fierce blaze tore through vast areas of pine forest, forcing yet more evacuations of villages overnight and blowing thick, choking smoke and ash all over the Greek capital

GREECE: A firefighter tries to extinguish a burning embers on a house, in Thrakomacedones area on Saturday after blazes continued through the night

GREECE: A firefighter tries to extinguish a burning embers on a house, in Thrakomacedones area on Saturday after blazes continued through the night

GREECE: A firefighter tries to extinguish a burning embers on a house, in Thrakomacedones area on Saturday after blazes continued through the night








TURKEY: Firefighters battle a wildfire near Milas, Mugla, Turkey on Friday as blazes continue to ravage the south of the country, fanned by strong winds

TURKEY: Firefighters battle a wildfire near Milas, Mugla, Turkey on Friday as blazes continue to ravage the south of the country, fanned by strong winds

TURKEY: Firefighters battle a wildfire near Milas, Mugla, Turkey on Friday as blazes continue to ravage the south of the country, fanned by strong winds

North of Athens, a fierce blaze tore through vast areas of pine forest, forcing yet more evacuations of villages overnight and blowing thick, choking smoke and ash all over the Greek capital.

Part of a motorway linking Athens to the north of the country has been shut down as a precaution and migrant camps were evacuated.

In the Evia village of Limni, more than 1,300 people fled the fires on ferry boats. Another 23 were evacuated Saturday morning from the beach at Rovies.

Local authorities on the island called for more air support in the firefighting efforts.

Images taken on the Greek island of Evia on Friday showed residents desperately making their way with their families to evacuation ferries to take them to safety. 

Images taken on the Greek island of Evia on Friday showed residents desperately making their way with their families to evacuation ferries to take them to safety

Images taken on the Greek island of Evia on Friday showed residents desperately making their way with their families to evacuation ferries to take them to safety

 Images taken on the Greek island of Evia on Friday showed residents desperately making their way with their families to evacuation ferries to take them to safety

GREECE: A mother carrying a young child makes her way onto an evacuation ferry in Greece earlier today as people are taken away from Limni village

GREECE: A mother carrying a young child makes her way onto an evacuation ferry in Greece earlier today as people are taken away from Limni village

GREECE: A mother carrying a young child makes her way onto an evacuation ferry in Greece earlier today as people are taken away from Limni village

GREECE: People make their way onto a ferry during an evacuation from Kochyli beach as a wildfire approaches the village of Limni earlier today

GREECE: People make their way onto a ferry during an evacuation from Kochyli beach as a wildfire approaches the village of Limni earlier today

GREECE: People make their way onto a ferry during an evacuation from Kochyli beach as a wildfire approaches the village of Limni earlier today

GREECE: Flames rise high in the sky near the Greek village of Kirinthos, on the island of Evia as firefighters block the road

GREECE: Flames rise high in the sky near the Greek village of Kirinthos, on the island of Evia as firefighters block the road

GREECE: Flames rise high in the sky near the Greek village of Kirinthos, on the island of Evia as firefighters block the road








Around 5,000 tourists and residents were also forced to flee another fire in the Peloponnese region. 

Eleni Drakoulakou, the mayor of of East Mani, told ERT TV on Saturday that 50 percent of the Peloponnese town has been burnt, blaming a lack of water-dropping air support during the critical first hours of the wildfire.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Saturday pledged the swift restoration of the affected areas.

‘The burnt areas will be marked out for reforestation,’he told reporters. ‘When this nightmarish summer ends we will reverse the damage as soon as possible’.

The ANA news agency said two people were held on suspicion of arson. 

In Athens, police arrested a woman in a park on Friday as she was carrying two lighters, petrol and flammable materials, a few minutes after a fire broke out there.

Authorities have banned visits to parks and forests through Greece, according to ANA. 

Meanwhile, a 43-year-old man was arrested in the area of Krioneri near Athens and charged with arson, according to ANA.

GREECE: Officials help carry a woman onto the evacuation ferry on the island of Evia today as evacuations from wildfire-hit areas continues

GREECE: Officials help carry a woman onto the evacuation ferry on the island of Evia today as evacuations from wildfire-hit areas continues

GREECE: Officials help carry a woman onto the evacuation ferry on the island of Evia today as evacuations from wildfire-hit areas continues

GREECE: Large numbers of people were helped onto an evacuation ferry on the Greek island of Evia this evening as officials attempt to move residents of Lemni village to safety before a wildfire reaches the area

GREECE: Large numbers of people were helped onto an evacuation ferry on the Greek island of Evia this evening as officials attempt to move residents of Lemni village to safety before a wildfire reaches the area

GREECE: Large numbers of people were helped onto an evacuation ferry on the Greek island of Evia this evening as officials attempt to move residents of Lemni village to safety before a wildfire reaches the area

Fires raging in Greece claimed their first two lives today during a punishing heatwave, while devastating wildfires in neighbouring Turkey piled pressure on the Turkish government. Pictured: A man tries to extinguish a wildfire in the village of Akcayaka in Turkey earlier today

Fires raging in Greece claimed their first two lives today during a punishing heatwave, while devastating wildfires in neighbouring Turkey piled pressure on the Turkish government. Pictured: A man tries to extinguish a wildfire in the village of Akcayaka in Turkey earlier today

Fires raging in Greece claimed their first two lives today during a punishing heatwave, while devastating wildfires in neighbouring Turkey piled pressure on the Turkish government. Pictured: A man tries to extinguish a wildfire in the village of Akcayaka in Turkey earlier today

Greece and Turkey have been fighting blaze upon blaze over the past week, hit by the region's worst heatwave in decades, a disaster that officials and experts have linked to increasingly frequent and intense weather events caused by climate change. Pictured: Flames burn through a  forest in Akcayaka in Turkey earlier today

Greece and Turkey have been fighting blaze upon blaze over the past week, hit by the region's worst heatwave in decades, a disaster that officials and experts have linked to increasingly frequent and intense weather events caused by climate change. Pictured: Flames burn through a  forest in Akcayaka in Turkey earlier today

Greece and Turkey have been fighting blaze upon blaze over the past week, hit by the region’s worst heatwave in decades, a disaster that officials and experts have linked to increasingly frequent and intense weather events caused by climate change. Pictured: Flames burn through a  forest in Akcayaka in Turkey earlier today

A 38-year-old man from Ippokrateio, a town north of Athens hit by giant flames, died in hospital on Friday after being hit by a falling electric pole as he was riding a moped, the health ministry said. Pictured: People attempt to fight the wild flames spreading towards their village in Turkey earlier today

A 38-year-old man from Ippokrateio, a town north of Athens hit by giant flames, died in hospital on Friday after being hit by a falling electric pole as he was riding a moped, the health ministry said. Pictured: People attempt to fight the wild flames spreading towards their village in Turkey earlier today

A 38-year-old man from Ippokrateio, a town north of Athens hit by giant flames, died in hospital on Friday after being hit by a falling electric pole as he was riding a moped, the health ministry said. Pictured: People attempt to fight the wild flames spreading towards their village in Turkey earlier today

In the nearby town of Krioneri, Konstantinos Michalos, the president of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was found unconscious in a factory and was transported to hospital where he was also confirmed dead, a hospital source said. Pictured: A man holds a hand up to his head with the wildfire burning fiercely ahead of him in Turkey earlier today

In the nearby town of Krioneri, Konstantinos Michalos, the president of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was found unconscious in a factory and was transported to hospital where he was also confirmed dead, a hospital source said. Pictured: A man holds a hand up to his head with the wildfire burning fiercely ahead of him in Turkey earlier today

In the nearby town of Krioneri, Konstantinos Michalos, the president of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was found unconscious in a factory and was transported to hospital where he was also confirmed dead, a hospital source said. Pictured: A man holds a hand up to his head with the wildfire burning fiercely ahead of him in Turkey earlier today

In Turkey, some eight people have been killed and dozens more hospitalised during 10 days of fire.

‘Our country is facing an extremely critical situation,’ Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.

‘We’re facing unprecedented conditions after several days of heatwave have turned the country into a powder keg.’

Meanwhile, 18 people have been injured in Greece, most with respiratory problems or minor burns. Two volunteer firefighters have been hospitalised in a critical condition, local media reported. Pictured: People work to try and extinguish the wild fires in Turkey earlier today

Meanwhile, 18 people have been injured in Greece, most with respiratory problems or minor burns. Two volunteer firefighters have been hospitalised in a critical condition, local media reported. Pictured: People work to try and extinguish the wild fires in Turkey earlier today

Meanwhile, 18 people have been injured in Greece, most with respiratory problems or minor burns. Two volunteer firefighters have been hospitalised in a critical condition, local media reported. Pictured: People work to try and extinguish the wild fires in Turkey earlier today

In Turkey, some eight people have been killed and dozens more hospitalised during 10 days of fire. Pictured: People work together to try and put out the spreading wildfires in Turkey earlier today

In Turkey, some eight people have been killed and dozens more hospitalised during 10 days of fire. Pictured: People work together to try and put out the spreading wildfires in Turkey earlier today

In Turkey, some eight people have been killed and dozens more hospitalised during 10 days of fire. Pictured: People work together to try and put out the spreading wildfires in Turkey earlier today








North of Athens, a fierce blaze tore through vast areas of pine forest, forcing yet more evacuations of villages overnight and blowing thick, choking smoke all over the Greek capital on Friday. 

Text alerts were sent out to people in Athens warning of ‘extreme fire danger in the coming days’.

In the small town of Afidnes, 30 kilometres (12 miles) north of the capital, firefighters were seen standing on their truck in the dead of night, dousing flames that leapt high above them.

In the morning, the fires had left desolation in their wake – burnt cars, trees, and houses destroyed.

In nearby Krioneri, the fire scorched homes, businesses and factories.

‘The fire is uncontrollable,’ said resident Vassiliki Papapanagiotis. ‘I don’t want to leave, my whole life is here.’

GREECE: Exhausted firefighters take a break in the Afidnes area in northern Athens after having battled wildfires which continue to spread

GREECE: Exhausted firefighters take a break in the Afidnes area in northern Athens after having battled wildfires which continue to spread

GREECE: Exhausted firefighters take a break in the Afidnes area in northern Athens after having battled wildfires which continue to spread

GREECE: One firefighter in northern Athens seeks shelter from the sun beneath a rucksack as he takes a break from battling the wildfires

GREECE: One firefighter in northern Athens seeks shelter from the sun beneath a rucksack as he takes a break from battling the wildfires

GREECE: One firefighter in northern Athens seeks shelter from the sun beneath a rucksack as he takes a break from battling the wildfires

GREECE: A helicopter helping to battle the wildfires drops water on a burning forest in northern Athens, after residents were evacuated from their homes as the blazes continue to spread

GREECE: A helicopter helping to battle the wildfires drops water on a burning forest in northern Athens, after residents were evacuated from their homes as the blazes continue to spread

GREECE: A helicopter helping to battle the wildfires drops water on a burning forest in northern Athens, after residents were evacuated from their homes as the blazes continue to spread

Part of a motorway linking Athens to the north of the country has been shut down as a precaution.

Around 5,000 residents and tourists were evacuated in the southern Peloponnese town of Gytheio, the ERT channel reported.

Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said that out of 99 fires reported on Thursday, 56 were still active.

At least 450 Greek firefighters were fighting the blaze, along with water-dropping air support and reinforcements from France, Switzerland, Romania, Sweden, Israel and Cyprus.

In Turkey, 208 fires have flared up since July 28, and 12 were still ablaze on Friday, according to the presidency.

In one particularly critical event earlier this week, winds whipped up a flash fire that subsumed the grounds of an Aegean coast power plant in Turkey storing thousands of tonnes of coal.

Text alerts were sent out to people in Athens warning of 'extreme fire danger in the coming days'. Pictured: An aerial picture shows smike rising from a ravaged area of a burned village called Ikizce in Turkey earlier today

Text alerts were sent out to people in Athens warning of 'extreme fire danger in the coming days'. Pictured: An aerial picture shows smike rising from a ravaged area of a burned village called Ikizce in Turkey earlier today

Text alerts were sent out to people in Athens warning of ‘extreme fire danger in the coming days’. Pictured: An aerial picture shows smike rising from a ravaged area of a burned village called Ikizce in Turkey earlier today

More evacuations took place on Friday in five Turkish provinces, including tourist hotspots Antalya and Mugla, according to NTV. Pictured: An aerial shot captures the devastation caused by wildfires in the Mugla district of Turkey, earlier today

More evacuations took place on Friday in five Turkish provinces, including tourist hotspots Antalya and Mugla, according to NTV. Pictured: An aerial shot captures the devastation caused by wildfires in the Mugla district of Turkey, earlier today

More evacuations took place on Friday in five Turkish provinces, including tourist hotspots Antalya and Mugla, according to NTV. Pictured: An aerial shot captures the devastation caused by wildfires in the Mugla district of Turkey, earlier today

GREECE: A burnt Greek Orthodox chapel on the island of Evia, north of Athens, lies in ruin after wildfires tore through the building

GREECE: A burnt Greek Orthodox chapel on the island of Evia, north of Athens, lies in ruin after wildfires tore through the building

GREECE: A burnt Greek Orthodox chapel on the island of Evia, north of Athens, lies in ruin after wildfires tore through the building

GREECE: A group of people sit on the beach as wildfire approaches the village of Limni on the island of Evia earlier today

GREECE: A group of people sit on the beach as wildfire approaches the village of Limni on the island of Evia earlier today

GREECE: A group of people sit on the beach as wildfire approaches the village of Limni on the island of Evia earlier today

More evacuations took place on Friday in five Turkish provinces, including tourist hotspots Antalya and Mugla, according to NTV.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has come under withering criticism for being slow or unwilling to accept some offers of foreign assistance after revealing that Turkey had no functioning firefighting planes.

The Turkish government is also facing pressure after the opposition referred to a report which showed only a fraction of the budget for forest fire prevention had been spent.

The General Directorate of Forestry (OGM) spent only 1.75 percent of nearly 200 million Turkish lira ($23 million) allocated for forest fires in the first six months of 2021, main opposition party MP Murat Emir said, referring to numbers apparently from the state agency’s own report.

‘This is a situation that one could go as far as to describe as treachery,’ he told AFP.

Extreme fires like those in Greece and Turkey will become even worse, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned in a draft report due out next year seen by AFP.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has come under withering criticism for being slow or unwilling to accept some offers of foreign assistance after revealing that Turkey had no functioning firefighting planes. Pictured: Flames tear through the village of Ikizce in Turkey earlier today

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has come under withering criticism for being slow or unwilling to accept some offers of foreign assistance after revealing that Turkey had no functioning firefighting planes. Pictured: Flames tear through the village of Ikizce in Turkey earlier today

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has come under withering criticism for being slow or unwilling to accept some offers of foreign assistance after revealing that Turkey had no functioning firefighting planes. Pictured: Flames tear through the village of Ikizce in Turkey earlier today

The Turkish government is also facing pressure after the opposition referred to a report which showed only a fraction of the budget for forest fire prevention had been spent. Pictured: The front of the wildfires in Turkey's Mugla region continue to rage, earlier today

The Turkish government is also facing pressure after the opposition referred to a report which showed only a fraction of the budget for forest fire prevention had been spent. Pictured: The front of the wildfires in Turkey's Mugla region continue to rage, earlier today

The Turkish government is also facing pressure after the opposition referred to a report which showed only a fraction of the budget for forest fire prevention had been spent. Pictured: The front of the wildfires in Turkey’s Mugla region continue to rage, earlier today

TURKEY: Firefighters look off into the distance to plan on how to extinguish a wildfire near Ikizce, a village in Mugla province, Turkey, earlier today

TURKEY: Firefighters look off into the distance to plan on how to extinguish a wildfire near Ikizce, a village in Mugla province, Turkey, earlier today

TURKEY: Firefighters look off into the distance to plan on how to extinguish a wildfire near Ikizce, a village in Mugla province, Turkey, earlier today

‘Climate change is forcing Mediterranean landscapes into a flammable state more regularly by drying out vegetation and priming it to burn,’ said Matthew Jones, research fellow at the University of East Anglia’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.      

It comes after firefighters last night battled to bring under control two massive blazes which raged near the ancient site of Olympia, on the western Peloponnese peninsula, and on the island of Evia, around 100 miles north of Athens. 

Around 200 firefighters, 50 fire trucks, six helicopters and water-bombing planes were sent to douse fires encircling the archeological site where the Olympics were first held in 776 B.C.

Thousands more people were fleeing to safety as a wildfire north of Athens caused the shutdown of major motorways as firefighters sought to prevent the blaze from reaching houses, power plants and historic sites.

On Evia, the Greek coast guard rallied an flotilla of patrol boats and private vessels to evacuate hundreds of residents and vacationers by sea after several fires combined to block land routes off the island. 

In Turkey, eight people have been killed in the fires which have ripped through the country’s southwestern coastal regions, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people including tourists and briefly threatening to engulf a power plant.   

GREECE: People swim in the sea off the island of Evia, north of Athens, on Tuesday as a fire rages in the hills above their coastal villas. The Greek coast guard rallied an flotilla of patrol boats and private vessels to evacuate hundreds of residents and vacationers by sea after several fires combined to block land routes off the island.

GREECE: People swim in the sea off the island of Evia, north of Athens, on Tuesday as a fire rages in the hills above their coastal villas. The Greek coast guard rallied an flotilla of patrol boats and private vessels to evacuate hundreds of residents and vacationers by sea after several fires combined to block land routes off the island.

GREECE: People swim in the sea off the island of Evia, north of Athens, on Tuesday as a fire rages in the hills above their coastal villas. The Greek coast guard rallied an flotilla of patrol boats and private vessels to evacuate hundreds of residents and vacationers by sea after several fires combined to block land routes off the island.

TURKEY: A rescuer carries an old woman away from her home as the Milas district of Mugla province was evacuated due to fires

TURKEY: A rescuer carries an old woman away from her home as the Milas district of Mugla province was evacuated due to fires

TURKEY: A rescuer carries an old woman away from her home as the Milas district of Mugla province was evacuated due to fires 

TURKEY: A helicopter dumps water onto the burning forests in Mugla. In coastal Mugla province, where the tourist destinations of Bodrum and Marmaris are located, fires continued to burn in three areas on Friday, officials said.

TURKEY: A helicopter dumps water onto the burning forests in Mugla. In coastal Mugla province, where the tourist destinations of Bodrum and Marmaris are located, fires continued to burn in three areas on Friday, officials said.

TURKEY: A helicopter dumps water onto the burning forests in Mugla. In coastal Mugla province, where the tourist destinations of Bodrum and Marmaris are located, fires continued to burn in three areas on Friday, officials said.

GREECE: An aircraft drops water during a wildfire in Kryoneri area, northern Athens on Thursday

GREECE: An aircraft drops water during a wildfire in Kryoneri area, northern Athens on Thursday

GREECE: An aircraft drops water during a wildfire in Kryoneri area, northern Athens on Thursday








GREECE: A firefighter douses flames from the top of a truck as a fire spreads around the village of Afidnes, some 20 miles north of Athens

GREECE: A firefighter douses flames from the top of a truck as a fire spreads around the village of Afidnes, some 20 miles north of Athens

GREECE: A firefighter douses flames from the top of a truck as a fire spreads around the village of Afidnes, some 20 miles north of Athens








Deadly wildfires in Greece and Turkey have forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes as a relentless heatwave continues to spark infernos in tinder-dry forests

Deadly wildfires in Greece and Turkey have forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes as a relentless heatwave continues to spark infernos in tinder-dry forests

Deadly wildfires in Greece and Turkey have forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes as a relentless heatwave continues to spark infernos in tinder-dry forests








In coastal Mugla province, where the tourist destinations of Bodrum and Marmaris are located, fires continued to burn in three areas on Friday, officials said. Blazes in Marmaris were largely contained by Friday, according to its mayor. Fires also raged in some districts of Antalya province, another tourism spot.

Mamaris hit a record 114F (45.5C) this week amid growing evidence of what scientists say is man-made climate change. 

Strong winds drove one of the fires toward the compound of the coal-fueled Kemerkoy power plant near the town of Milas, in Mugla province late on Wednesday, forcing nearby residents to flee in navy vessels and cars. It was contained on Thursday after raging for some 11 hours and officials said its main units were not damaged.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis last night gave a televised address to lament ‘the reality of climate change’ as he vowed that his government was doing everything in its power to prevent loss of life and damage to property.

‘Unfortunately, under these circumstances, achieving all these aims at the same time is simply impossible,’ he added.   

Several firefighters and volunteers were hospitalized with burns, health officials said. 

Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias said nine people had been taken by ambulance to hospitals in Athens from the fire north of the Greek capital, three of them suffering breathing problems, while 11 more were being treated in a health center on Evia.

‘We are going through the 10th day of a major heat wave affecting our entire country, the worst heat wave in terms of intensity and duration of the last 30 years,’ Fire Service Brig. Gen. Aristotelis Papadopoulos said. 

GREECE: Firemen battle to extinguish a wildfire in the area of Skepasti in Evia island

GREECE: Firemen battle to extinguish a wildfire in the area of Skepasti in Evia island

GREECE: Firemen battle to extinguish a wildfire in the area of Skepasti in Evia island

GREECE: A desperate battle to save Greek villages continued through the night with those who did not flee helping emergency crews

GREECE: A desperate battle to save Greek villages continued through the night with those who did not flee helping emergency crews

GREECE: A desperate battle to save Greek villages continued through the night with those who did not flee helping emergency crews

GREECE: Some residents of Afidnes, around 30km (18.6miles) north of Athens stayed behind to assist emergency crews as fires ravaged tree-covered hills into the night

GREECE: Some residents of Afidnes, around 30km (18.6miles) north of Athens stayed behind to assist emergency crews as fires ravaged tree-covered hills into the night

GREECE: Some residents of Afidnes, around 30km (18.6miles) north of Athens stayed behind to assist emergency crews as fires ravaged tree-covered hills into the night

GREECE: Emergency services lined the streets as enormous flames lit up the night in an orange glow

GREECE: Emergency services lined the streets as enormous flames lit up the night in an orange glow

GREECE: Emergency services lined the streets as enormous flames lit up the night in an orange glow








GREECE: A burnt hotel during a wildfire in Lalas village, near Olympia town, western Greece, Thursday

GREECE: A burnt hotel during a wildfire in Lalas village, near Olympia town, western Greece, Thursday

GREECE: A burnt hotel during a wildfire in Lalas village, near Olympia town, western Greece, Thursday

GREECE: A burnt hotel during a wildfire in Lalas village, near Olympia town, western Greece, Thursday

GREECE: A burnt hotel during a wildfire in Lalas village, near Olympia town, western Greece, Thursday

GREECE: A burnt hotel during a wildfire in Lalas village, near Olympia town, western Greece, Thursday

GREECE: A wildfire approaches the Olympic Academy in ancient Olympia in western Greece on Wednesday night

GREECE: A wildfire approaches the Olympic Academy in ancient Olympia in western Greece on Wednesday night

GREECE: A wildfire approaches the Olympic Academy in ancient Olympia in western Greece on Wednesday night








At least three significant fires were burning, on the island of Evia, in southern Greece and on the outskirts of Athens where a major forest blaze rekindled, and at Olympia where people have been ordered to evacuate. No deaths or severe injuries have been reported, but there has been widespread destruction to buildings and to Greece's quick-shrinking forests

At least three significant fires were burning, on the island of Evia, in southern Greece and on the outskirts of Athens where a major forest blaze rekindled, and at Olympia where people have been ordered to evacuate. No deaths or severe injuries have been reported, but there has been widespread destruction to buildings and to Greece's quick-shrinking forests

At least three significant fires were burning, on the island of Evia, in southern Greece and on the outskirts of Athens where a major forest blaze rekindled, and at Olympia where people have been ordered to evacuate. No deaths or severe injuries have been reported, but there has been widespread destruction to buildings and to Greece’s quick-shrinking forests

In the Drosopigi area north of Athens, resident Giorgos Hatzispiros went Friday morning to check on his house after being ordered to evacuate the previous afternoon. Only the charred walls of the single-story home remained, along with his two children’s bicycles, somehow unscathed in a storeroom. Inside, smoke rose from a still-smoldering bookcase.

‘Nothing is left,’ Hatzispiros said. He urged his mother, who was accompanying him, to leave, to spare her the sight of their destroyed home.

In southern Greece, nearly 60 villages and settlements were evacuated Thursday and early Friday, with weather conditions expected to worsen as strong winds were predicted in much of the country.

Fires were raging on the island of Evia, northeast of Athens, and at multiple locations in the southern Peloponnese region where a blaze was stopped before reaching monuments at Olympia, birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games.

A summer palace outside Athens once used by the former Greek royal family was also spared. 

TURKEY: Health officials help out people to be evacuated due to approaching fire that broke out in Milas district of Mugla province on Thursday

TURKEY: Health officials help out people to be evacuated due to approaching fire that broke out in Milas district of Mugla province on Thursday

TURKEY: Health officials help out people to be evacuated due to approaching fire that broke out in Milas district of Mugla province on Thursday

TURKEY: Ground and aerial fire extinguishing operations continue to contain the fire in Milas district of Mugla

TURKEY: Ground and aerial fire extinguishing operations continue to contain the fire in Milas district of Mugla

TURKEY: Ground and aerial fire extinguishing operations continue to contain the fire in Milas district of Mugla

TURKEY: Flames illuminate the sky as people in Yumakli area evacuated due to an approaching fire in Mugla's Mentese district

TURKEY: Flames illuminate the sky as people in Yumakli area evacuated due to an approaching fire in Mugla's Mentese district

TURKEY: Flames illuminate the sky as people in Yumakli area evacuated due to an approaching fire in Mugla’s Mentese district

TURKEY: A Turkish volunteer runs as they head to fight wildfires in Turgut village, near tourist resort of Marmaris, Mugla

TURKEY: A Turkish volunteer runs as they head to fight wildfires in Turgut village, near tourist resort of Marmaris, Mugla

TURKEY: A Turkish volunteer runs as they head to fight wildfires in Turgut village, near tourist resort of Marmaris, Mugla

TURKEY: People watch an advancing fire that rages Cokertme village, near Bodrum

TURKEY: People watch an advancing fire that rages Cokertme village, near Bodrum

TURKEY: People watch an advancing fire that rages Cokertme village, near Bodrum

TURKEY: Ground and aerial fire extinguishing operations continue to contain the fire in Milas district of Mugla

TURKEY: Ground and aerial fire extinguishing operations continue to contain the fire in Milas district of Mugla

TURKEY: Ground and aerial fire extinguishing operations continue to contain the fire in Milas district of Mugla

TURKEY: Ground and aerial fire extinguishing operations continue to contain the fire in Milas district of Mugla

TURKEY: Ground and aerial fire extinguishing operations continue to contain the fire in Milas district of Mugla

TURKEY: Ground and aerial fire extinguishing operations continue to contain the fire in Milas district of Mugla

In Evia, the coast guard said its patrol boats, private vessels and tourist boats had evacuated 631 people overnight and by early Friday morning from beaches on the northeastern coast of the island. Coast guard patrols were continuing along the coast.

Fire crews, water-dropping planes, helicopters and vehicles from France, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland were arriving Friday and through the weekend to help. Fire crews and planes from Cyprus were already in Greece, as the European Union stepped up support to fire-hit countries in southeast Europe.

More than 1,000 firefighters, joined by the army and teams of volunteers, as well as nearly 20 water-dropping planes and helicopters were fighting five major fires across the country, the fire department said.

A heatwave described as Greece’s worst since 1987 has baked the country for more than a week, sending temperatures spiralling to 45 degrees Celsius (113 F) and creating tinder-dry conditions in shrubland and forests.

Nearby countries are battling similar conditions, fuelling wildfires in North Macedonia and blazes in Italy and across the Mediterranean region.

Officials in Albania said one person died of smoke inhalation this week near the southern city of Gjirokaster. 








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