Due to severe forest fires on the Greek island of Lesvos, people are evacuated.

Residents and tourists were evacuated on Saturday as a wildfire on the Greek island of Lesbos destroyed homes and endangered villages.

The fire that broke out this morning in the mountain forests west of the island has spread to two fronts. One fire headed towards the village of Vrysa, the other towards the seaside resort of Vatera, where at least two houses were destroyed.

Both fires are still raging as of Saturday evening.

A huge plume of smoke is still visible in the area. It is carried by strong winds, which makes it more difficult for emergency services to put out the flames.

One runaway resident told ERT that her house was on fire.

“We are fighting to save homes,” the mayor of western Lesvos, Taxiarchis Verros, told a Greek broadcaster.

81 firefighters with 19 vehicles, 5 civilian groups, 9 planes and 1 helicopter are trying to put out the flames and are waiting for reinforcements to arrive from northern Greece.

According to the governor of the region Kostas Moutzuris, one firefighter was injured.

On the advice of emergency services, Verros ordered the bustling resort town of Vathera to be evacuated as a precautionary measure. Greece’s emergency 112 sent an evacuation message to those in the area.

Although the mayor did not specify the number of evacuees, several buses and small boats took part in the operation.

At least eight people, including four French tourists, were detained on Vatera Beach, according to Greek media outlet Skai.

Vatera, an 8 km (5 mi) long sandy beach in the southern part of Lesvos, is a popular tourist attraction.

On Saturday, firefighters battle the raging blaze for the third day in Dadia National Park, which the park authorities have called “one of the most important protected areas nationally, European and internationally”, in the Evros region in the northeast. Greece.

The area’s emergency services said thick smoke from the fire prevented fire planes from intervening.

A forest fire in the mountains near Athens earlier this week damaged homes and forced several hundred people to flee, with authorities calling this summer one of the worst in the Mediterranean.

Last year, wildfires destroyed about 300,000 acres (121,000 hectares) of forests and shrubs across Greece during the worst heat wave in the country in 30 years.

Extreme weather events such as wildfires and heat waves are becoming more frequent and intense due to anthropogenic climate change.

Experts warn that these trends will continue to worsen and become more severe unless governments around the world undertake significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.