Devastating fires reach as far north as Russia and have hit continental Europe amid a scorching heatwave.
Residential areas in Italy, Spain, and Greece are under threat as firefighters struggle to contain hundreds of wildfires.
The devastating fires reach as far north as Russia and are spreading fast across continental Europe.
Firefighters battling blazes across Greece
A community on Greece’s largest peninsula was evacuated after a fire broke out in a nearby forest, according to the firefighting service.
Around 65 firefighters, rescue teams on foot, 18 fire engines, two water-dropping helicopters, and four firefighting aircraft are currently battling the blaze in Messinia, the third blaze to hit the Peloponnese in just a few days.
Meanwhile, two more fires erupted in the Fthiotida prefecture, central Greece, in the afternoon, according to the fire brigade.
The first fire broke out near the village of Lefkada in western Fthiotida.
Firefighting teams are currently in the area battling the blaze with the help of aircraft and helicopters.
Local media have reported very strong winds in the area, while very high temperatures were also reported at the time the fire broke out.
A fire that broke out Sunday on the island of Rhodes and burned several hectares of forest has been abating, according to firefighters, with professionals and volunteers alike battling the blaze overnight.
Blazes in Italy
Southern parts of the country are especially experiencing many forest fires, both large and small.
According to a statement by Italy’s National Fire Corps, more than 800 fires have broken out in the country in the last 24 hours.
Firefighters have responded to 250 fires in Sicily and 130 in Puglia, while 20,000 hectares of forest burned in a fire on July 24 in the countryside of Sardinia island’s Oristano province, where 1,500 people were evacuated. Italy requested firefighting aircraft from EU countries to supplement its own aircraft.
Strong wildfire threatens city in North Macedonia
A strong wildfire has appeared on a mountain above a city in the eastern part of North Macedonia, according to images on social media.
Multiple places in my country (North Macedonia) are burning (due to heat, dry grass, arid period) and the government says "Oh yeah, we'll make a law now to service the fire fighting planes so they can be used in the future" and just...just.... https://t.co/HpB0pVjd9w— Rumena Najchevska (@RumenaN) August 3, 2021
In images and videos posted on social media by residents of the city of Kochani, some 100 kilometres east of the capital Skopje, the fire can be seen, and even appears to have engulfed some houses along the slope.
Local media quoted Nikolcho Iliev, the mayor of Kochani, saying there is a "great danger to the city from three sides."
He also asked for institutions to take action to bring the fire under control.
"Some houses have already been engulfed (by fire), close to the city there is a forest that is engulfed (by fire),” he said.
“It is spreading in an indefinite direction, actually in the direction of the wind,” he added.