Travel News

The eastern Aegean islands Chios and Kos have seen wildfires breaking out

Simon Calder’s Travel

Tourists have been evacuated from hotels in Greece as wildfires break out across the country.

Firefighters battled blazes on the eastern Aegean islands of Chios and Kos on Monday and injured five people, as Greece’s prime minister warned of a dangerous summer ahead and said the public’s help was essential in limiting the impact of wildfires.

Last year 20 people were killed in wildfires during the summer months.

Wildfires are common in the Mediterranean country, but hotter, drier and windier weather that scientists link to the effects of climate change has increased their frequency and intensity.

Emergency services issued evacuation orders for those in the Metohi area of western Chios on Monday morning, urging them to head to a nearby beach.

By the evening, more than 140 firefighters, along with eight teams of firefighters specializing in wildfires, seven water-dropping planes and three helicopters were fighting the blaze.

A burnt car after a wildfire
A burnt car after a wildfire (Associated Press)

Fire department spokesman Vasilis Vathrakoyiannis said two firefighters had been lightly injured, while dozens more firefighters were heading to the island by boat from the nearby island of Lesbos and from Athens. State-run ERT television later reported that another two firefighters and a volunteer had suffered non life-threatening burns.

“The situation remains difficult in Chios, and all Civil Protection forces will make great efforts to limit it,” Vathrakoyiannis said during an evening briefing.

Another fire broke out further to the south in the Aegean, on the resort island of Kos, and by late Monday had forced the evacuation of several people, including tourists from hotels, as a precaution. That blaze was being tackled by more than 100 firefighters, including reinforcements sent from Athens, as well as six water-dropping planes and two helicopters, Vathrakoyiannis added.

Clare Smith, 38, who is on holiday in Kos with her husband and nine-year-old daughter, told Sky News the situation had “got significantly worse” over the day, with “thick plumes of black smoke” billowing into the sky.

“It’s really windy here, it will be like a tinderbox,” she said. “The sky is covered in smoke. You feel like you’re in the apocalypse, or some sort of war film.”

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (Associated Press)

In total, Greece saw 52 wildfires breaking…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at The Independent Travel…