A large wildfire on the island of Lesvos on Saturday morning has prompted evacuations, burned homes and businesses, and has now moved into Vatera, a beach resort.
The blaze started in mountainous forests, according to reports, fueled by strong winds and temperatures that have climbed to 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit) on the island. Thick smoke and flames could be seen as planes dumped water to contain the fire.
There were fifty firefighters on the scene, two ground teams, and seventeen fire engines deployed, along with nine water-bombing aircraft and an Mi8 helicopter, according to AMNA.
The mayor of western Lesvos, Taxiarchis Verros, told ERT that fire teams were “battling to save homes.” One resident told the station that her home was on fire.
Wildfire Moves into Lesvos Beach Resort of Vatera
The fire moved into Vatera. At nine kilometers (5.5 miles) long, Vatera is the longest sandy beach on the island. Verros ordered the evacuation of the beach resort, acting on the advice of the fire brigade, according to AMNA.
Fire crews around Greece have been battling for days against what seems like a steady flow of wildfires, with one coming after the other in various areas.
Earlier in the day, firefighters were still battling a wildfire at Dadia–Lefkimi–Soufli Forest National Park in Evros that had burned eight hundred hectares of forest, or nearly two thousand acres, by Friday night.
Greece’s wildfire season this year has been another damaging one. In a recent example, hundreds of firefighters on Wednesday, brought a large wildfire that had begun on the slopes of Mount Penteli under control, a day after it broke out in the northern suburbs of Athens.
Dozens of houses were either entirely burned or damaged by the fire with at least thirty-four people hospitalized and nine settlements evacuated.
Authorities are calling this summer one of the toughest in the Mediterranean.