Europe on fire as blazes rage in Turkey, Greece and Italy

Europe on fire as blazes rage in Turkey, Greece and Italy
Europe on fire as blazes rage in Turkey, Greece and Italy

Europe is battling fires on multiple fronts today as Turkey, Greece and Italy saw blazes run out of control while severe warnings were issued in France amid hot and dry conditions that are set to get worse this week.  

Turkey has been hardest hit, with fires now raging into their sixth day having killed at least eight people, driven thousands more from their homes and burned large patches of forest, most in the country's south.

More than a dozen people have also been injured in neighbouring Greece, where fires in the Pelopponese region and on Rhodes Island - both in the country's south - have destroyed homes and forced locals to evacuate.

High temperatures, which are set to climb further this week, have dried out forests and left them vulnerable to fires with hot winds whipping up flames and causing them to rip through vast swathes of countryside.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Greek Prime Minister, has warned that his country is facing its worst heatwave since 1987 this week with temperatures set to top 113F (45C) - with similar temperatures also hitting Turkey.

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Italy's fire service was also battling blazes on Monday in the southern town of Gravina in Puglia and San Giacomo degli Schiavoni, further to the north, after infernos in Sicily and Pescara at the weekend.

Warnings were also issued in southern France, where forecasters warned of a 'very severe risk' of fires thanks to the combination of dry and windy weather.

ITALY: Fires are seen burning in Pescara, in the Abruzzo region of Italy, on Sunday - with more blazes breaking out across the country on Monday and warnings of further hot weather on the way

ITALY: Fires are seen burning in Pescara, in the Abruzzo region of Italy, on Sunday - with more blazes breaking out across the country on Monday and warnings of further hot weather on the way

TURKEY: People battle flames burning in the Mugla region of southern Turkey on Monday, the sixth straight day of fires in the region with the national death toll now standing at eight

TURKEY: People battle flames burning in the Mugla region of southern Turkey on Monday, the sixth straight day of fires in the region with the national death toll now standing at eight

GREECE: A plane drops water on the charred remains of a village near Patras, in the Peloponnese region of Greece which has been badly burned in wildfires that have raged since the weekend

GREECE: A plane drops water on the charred remains of a village near Patras, in the Peloponnese region of Greece which has been badly burned in wildfires that have raged since the weekend

TURKEY: Thousands of acres of pine forests have been torched in southern Turkey's fires which have also destroyed homes and farmlands, with water-carrying planes from across Europe drafted in to help

TURKEY: Thousands of acres of pine forests have been torched in southern Turkey's fires which have also destroyed homes and farmlands, with water-carrying planes from across Europe drafted in to help

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A bulldozer opens the way to firefighters to help them to extinguish a wildfire near Marmaris, Turkey, on Monday

A bulldozer opens the way to firefighters to help them to extinguish a wildfire near Marmaris, Turkey, on Monday

Firefighters battle the forest fire broke out Mugla, Turkey, driven by hot and dry winds sweeping up from the equator

Firefighters battle the forest fire broke out Mugla, Turkey, driven by hot and dry winds sweeping up from the equator

A firefighter has his face doused in water to help deal with burns he sustained while fighting fires in southern Turkey

A firefighter has his face doused in water to help deal with burns he sustained while fighting fires in southern Turkey

Red warnings were issued for some wooded areas near Cannes, Toulon and Marseilles meaning entry is restricted, with fires also banned across the whole of the Alpes-Maritimes department. 

It comes amid increasingly severe warnings from climate scientists that global warming is increasing the intensity and frequency of otherwise rare weather events, following floods in western parts of Europe just a few weeks ago. 

Wildfires tearing through the resort regions of Turkey's Mediterranean and Aegean coasts have destroyed huge swathes of pristine forest and forced the evacuation of panicked tourists from their hotels.

They have also exposed Erdogan - facing an election in two years that could extend his rule into a third decade - to a new round of criticism over his seemingly sluggish and out-of-touch response.

The Turkish leader came under especially strong criticism over the weekend for tossing bags of tea to locals while touring one of the most badly-affected regions under heavy police escort.

The government has also disclosed that it had no firefighting planes in its inventory and had to rely on foreign help to battle the flames. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu thanked Brussels on Monday for sending a plane from Croatia and two from Spain. 

Firefighters on Monday also battled local blazes on the Greek island of Rhodes in the Aegean, and in the Peloponnese region to the west of Athens. 

More than 7,400 acres of pine and olive groves have been torched by a fire that broke out on Saturday in Greece's Achaia, near Patras in the Peloponnese, according to the National Observatory of Athens .

Officials have evacuated five villages and a seaside town, and eight people have been hospitalised with burns and respiratory problems.

The fire was not fully under control on Monday morning, the country's weather service told the ANA news agency. 

People try in vain to extinguish flames threatening homes in the Antalya region of Turkey, which has been badly hit

People try in vain to extinguish flames threatening homes in the Antalya region of Turkey, which has been badly hit

A firefighter battles flames in the Antalya region of Turkey, as the government calls in firefighting planes from across Europe after admitting it has none in its own arsenal

A firefighter battles flames in the Antalya region of Turkey, as the government calls in firefighting planes from across Europe after admitting it has none in its own arsenal

Firefighters battle against flames in Turkey's Antalya region which have now been burning since last week

Firefighters battle against flames in Turkey's Antalya region which have now

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