Athens: Firefighters were battling two large wildfires in Greece on Monday, one in the Peloponnese and the other on the island of Rhodes, with temperatures due to hit a punishing 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit).
A heatwave across Southern Europe also fed destructive fires in Turkey, Spain and Italy during the weekend, with experts warning climate change was increasing both the frequency and intensity of such blazes.
More than 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres) of pine and olive groves have been torched by a fire that broke out on Saturday in Greece’s Achaia, near Patras in the Peloponnese, according to the National Observatory of Athens citing EU satellite images.
Officials have evacuated five villages and a seaside town, and eight people have been hospitalised with burns and respiratory problems. The fire was not fully under control on Monday morning, the country’s weather service told the ANA news agency. And temperatures of 44 to 45 degrees Celsius have been forecast for the western Pelopponese, posing new risks for land already parched by the brutal heatwave.