A MASSIVE wildfire is burning out of control on a popular Greek holiday island – with hotels evacuated and 1,000 people rescued from beaches.
Locals and tourists have been forced to flee as the fires on the island of Rhodes continue to burn – fanned by strong winds.
Extraordinary scenes show columns of people carrying their luggage while trying to escape from the fire in Kiotari and Lardo – towards the south east of the island.
The fire has scorched swathes of forest since breaking out in a mountainous area on Tuesday.
Three hotels in the seaside village of Kiotari caught fire on Saturday, according to the Athens News Agency.
Coastguard vessels and more than 20 private boats took part in an operation to evacuate about 1,000 people from beaches.
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Firefighters, backed by air-water bombers and reinforcements by Slovakia, struggled with new outbreaks of wildfire due to the windy conditions.
A spokesperson for the local fire service said more than 200 firefighters and 40 fire engines are tackling the wildfire, along with three planes and five helicopters.
Three coastguard vessels, including an additional unit from the army, are also currently helping with the evacuation of locals and tourists from two beaches.
The Greek navy and 20 private boats have also been drafted in.
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It comes as Greece continues to face high temperatures – with forecasts of up to 45C going into next week.
The country also experienced an "insidious and dangerous" heatwave earlier this month with temperatures also soaring to 40C.
Speaking at the time, meteorologist George Tsatrafillias said the dry and warm conditions were particularly concerning as they increase the possibility of wildfires.
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