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Fire crews lose control of huge wildfire in Greece as new heatwave looms

wildfire

Smoke rises from the wildfire near the village of Agios Sotira, west of Athens, Greece (Picture: Reuters

Evening winds have fuelled a wildfire in Greece which authorities are struggling to bring under control.

The massive wildfire started to the west of the capital Athens on Tuesday and has already burned 35 square kilometres (13.5 square miles) of forest and shrubland.

Authorities had brought the wildfire under control but recent strong winds mean it is now once again spreading.

Many residents have ignored an evacuation order from fire authorities in an effort to try and save their homes.

Resident Chrysoula Renieri, 72, tried to save her family home with some help but the wildfire cut off water in the area.

‘It’s all gone. We have suffered too much damage,’ she said.

Greece’s prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the fire service and civil protection authority would remain on alert as a new heat wave moved east across the country.

‘The hard times are clearly not over yet,’ Mr Mitsotakis said. ‘We are facing another heat wave and a possible strengthening of the winds. So, absolute vigilance and absolute readiness are required over the next few days.’

Extreme heat has gripped many Mediterranean countries (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

The country is set to hit 45C on Sunday.

The wildfire has been caused by stiffling heat which has gripped many Mediterranean countries like Spain, Italy and Greece.

A state of emergency was declared on the Greek island of Rhodes on Thursday, where evacuation orders were issued in several mountainous regions.

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Firefighters have battled blazes in parts of Greece and the Canary Islands (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile in Murcia, Spain, temperatures peaked at 44C and a man died from a heat-related issue, Spain’s public news agency EFE reported.

Temperatures in Spain are expected to rise again on Sunday like in Greece and Italy.

In Italy, temperatures of 44C were recorded in Sicily, while public health warnings to protect children, older adults and people with health problems remained in place on the island and mainland.

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