Greece: Raging Wildfires Force Hundreds To Evacuate Homes

Massive fires in Greece have forced hundreds of people to flee their homes.

On Sunday, tourists and residents in Evia were evacuated as firefighters fight to contain days-old fires.

Evia, the country’s second-largest island, has seen the most severe fire. However, dozens of small blazes continue burning across different Greek cities.

Local media reported that over 2,000 people had been evacuated so far as the flames destroy homes and power lines.

The huge forest fires broke out amid the latest heatwave -considered the most severe heatwave Greece has faced in the last three decades.

The country recorded temperatures of 45C (113F), authorities said.

Experts explained that similar heatwaves are becoming more likely and extreme due to climate change, adding that subsequent hot and dry weather can fuel wildfires.

Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias warned that Greece would experience another “difficult night.”

“On Evia we have two major fire fronts, one in the north and one in the south,” he said. “We are afraid of the danger of flare-ups.”

However, he stated that the situation around the capital Athens had improved.

Meanwhile, the army, hundreds of firefighters, 17 planes and helicopters have been sent to Evia to control the blaze.

Footage circulating on social media showed ferries carrying people surrounded by a landscape filled with flames under a bright red sky.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the country could experience a “nightmarish summer” with constant forest fires.

The government warned that the risk of new fires remains high in Athens, Crete, and other regions.

According to reports from the European Forest Fire Information System, more than 56,000 hectares (140,000 acres) have been burned in Greece in the past ten days.

A fire north of Athens on Mount Parnitha covered the capital with smoke on Saturday. In response, officials established a hotline for people with breathing difficulties.

While thousands of people have been evacuated from the area and the flames have receded, the strong winds forecast raises concerns that the fire could break out again.

The United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, and Romania have sent firefighters to Greece to support authorities’ efforts to control the fires.