Strong winds push flames towards villages in Greece

Wildfires are continuing to rip through the Greek island of Evia with strong winds driving flames towards villages. More than 2,000 people have already been evacuated from the island, many of those by ferry. Gusty winds and scorching heat have caused fires in Greece to become erratic to end the week and start the weekend, forcing firefighting crews to retreat and additional evacuations for nearby residents.

Fire crews from across Europe and the Mediterranean have been deployed to help control the fires across the country. A number of wildfires have struck the country in recent days. One blaze in the northern suburb of Athens is said to have subsided. Greece is experiencing its most severe heatwave in 30 years in which temperatures have spiked to 45C (113F). Heatwaves such as this are becoming more likely and more extreme because of human-induced climate change. The subsequent hot, dry weather is likely to fuel wildfires. More than 1,000 people on the Euboea Island were evacuated by ferries from seaside towns as fires cut off all other means of escape, NPR reported. On Evia, two fire fronts have destroyed thousands of hectares of land, along with a number of houses and businesses. More people being evacuated including elderly people who were pictured being carried onto ferries. With no sign of the fire subsiding, residents and officials are calling for more help.