Wildfires across Greece throws normal life out of gear

Firefighters try to extinguish a wildfire burning near the village of Makrimalli on the island of Evia, Greece on August 13. Photo: Reuters

Athens: Hundreds of people have been evacuated from hotels and beaches in Greece as firefighters tackle dozens of wildfires across the country, authorities said on Monday.

About 700 firefighters were deployed over the weekend as the fires spread, fanned by strong winds and hot, dry conditions, an international media house reported.

One of the worst fires on the island of Samos, forced authorities to transfer about 1,000 people from several hotels.

Images posted on social media showed clouds of smoke sweeping across the island as people were taken away by boat.

The blaze had largely been brought under control on Monday, the fire department said.

Separately, two people in their forties were arrested in the Peloponnese for deliberately starting fires, the Greek newspaper Ekathimerini reports.

One is alleged to be responsible for a forest fire in the region, while the other is believed to have started three different fires.

Earlier this month, fires ripped through a "unique, untouched pine forest" on the Greek island of Evia in what was described as a "huge ecological disaster".