Tourists and locals evacuated from resort on Greek island of Lesbos as wildfire rips through homes

Tourists and locals evacuated from resort on Greek island of Lesbos as wildfire rips through homes 2
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Tourist resort is evacuated on Lesbos as wildfires destroy buildings and firefighters from across Greece are sent to tackle blaze

  • The wildfire broke out at a popular resort on the Greek island of Lesbos at about 10am local time on Saturday
  • Tourists and local residents were evacuated from the beachside village of Vatera on the orders of the mayor
  • Total figure of evacuees is unknown at this stage but there were several buses and boats to take people away
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Tourists and residents were evacuated from a popular resort on the Greek island of Lesbos as a wildfire destroyed homes in the beachside village of Vatera.

Firefighters deployed seven planes and a helicopter to fight the surging blaze, with reinforcements expected to arrive from northern Greece.

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The fire broke out at 10am local time on Saturday and is blazing on two fronts, heading towards the Vrisa village and another inside Vatera.

West Lesbos mayor Taxiarchis Verros ordered the evacuation of the busy beach resort as a precautionary measure, acting on the advice of the fire brigade, Athens News Agency reported.

Inferno: the smoke of a wildfire billows as it approaches Vatera, a coastal resort on the eastern island of Lesbos in Greece

Inferno: the smoke of a wildfire billows as it approaches Vatera, a coastal resort on the eastern island of Lesbos in Greece

Heatwave: The flag of Greece is seen in the foreground as the smoke of the wildfire approaching Vatera coastal resort

Heatwave: The flag of Greece is seen in the foreground as the smoke of the wildfire approaching Vatera coastal resort

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Pictured: A wooden beach bar corridor burns as wildfire rages near the village of Vatera, on the island of Lesbos, Greece

Pictured: A wooden beach bar corridor burns as wildfire rages near the village of Vatera, on the island of Lesbos, Greece

Pictured: A person runs as wildfire approaches houses on Vatera coastal resort on the eastern island of Lesbos

Pictured: A person runs as wildfire approaches houses on Vatera coastal resort on the eastern island of Lesbos

Pictured: A local resident tries to save his property at the popular coastal resort of Vatera on the eastern island of Lesbos

Pictured: A local resident tries to save his property at the popular coastal resort of Vatera on the eastern island of Lesbos

He did not provide figures on how many were evacuated but there were several buses and small boats to take people away.

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At least two houses were ravaged by the fire, state TV ERT said.

On Saturday, firefighters were also battling for a third day a wildfire raging in the Dadia National Park, the country’s largest Natura 2000 site known for its black vulture colony, in the northeastern region of Evros.

The fire brigade said the thick smoke from the blaze prevented firefighting planes from operating.

A wildfire in mountains near Athens on Wednesday damaged homes and forced hundreds of people to evacuate after gale-force winds earlier this week.

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Pictured: A volunteer firefighter tries to extinguish wildfire burning in the village of Vatera, on the island of Lesbos

Pictured: A volunteer firefighter tries to extinguish wildfire burning in the village of Vatera, on the island of Lesbos

A local tries to extinguish rising flames as wildfire burns near the village of Vatera, on the island of Lesbos on July 23

A local tries to extinguish rising flames as wildfire burns near the village of Vatera, on the island of Lesbos on July 23

Devastation: A local looks at wildfire burning in the village of Vatera, on the island of Lesbos, Greece

Devastation: A local looks at wildfire burning in the village of Vatera, on the island of Lesbos, Greece

Damage control: A local puts out flames at a damaged beach bar as wildfire burns near the village of Vatera, in Greece

Damage control: A local puts out flames at a damaged beach bar as wildfire burns near the village of Vatera, in Greece

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Cool off: A firefighting plane makes a water drop as wildfire burns near the village of Vatera, on the island of Lesbos

Cool off: A firefighting plane makes a water drop as wildfire burns near the village of Vatera, on the island of Lesbos

A firefighting helicopter makes a water drop as wildfire burns in the village of Vatera, on the island of Lesbos, Greece

A firefighting helicopter makes a water drop as wildfire burns in the village of Vatera, on the island of Lesbos, Greece

A wildfire in mountains near Athens earlier this week damaged homes and forced hundreds of people to flee, with authorities calling this summer one of the toughest in the Mediterranean.

Last year, wildfires ravaged about 300,000 acres (121,000 hectares) of forest and bushland across Greece during the country’s worst heatwave in 30 years.

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The country’s worst wildfire disaster was in 2018 in the coastal suburb of Mati, claiming 102 lives, just a few kilometres (miles) from the area affected by Wednesday’s blaze.

On Saturday, a memorial service was held at the seaside town to commemorate the victims.

A heatwave and wildfires last year destroyed 103,000 hectares (255,000 acres) and claimed three lives in Greece.

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