Wildfires Scorch Earth in Greece and Other Parts of Europe

Massive wildfires have raged in parts of Europe over the last six days, forcing thousands from their homes in several Greek villages.

The worst of the fires Sunday were on Evia — Greece’s second largest island, which has seen huge sections of pine forest reduced to ashes. Also the southern Peloponnese peninsula, home of ancient Olympia, was threatened earlier this week. A number of blazes north of Athens broke out on Tuesday and seemed to be contained on Sunday while firefighters remain on standby.

Greek authorities have sought firefighting help and aid from several countries. More than 570 firefighters were working to contain the blazes near Evia.

Eight deaths have occurred in Turkey where the firefight continues along coastal towns where evacuations began near a burning power plant. Since July 28, more than 180 fires had broken out in Turkey as of Wednesday.

In Italy, large wildfires have tripled this year compared to the annual average, while in the northern end of the country heavy rainfall has caused flooding and landslides.

Authorities are investigating what caused the blazes, with three people arrested Friday in different areas on suspicion of starting blazes, according to the AP.

Greece’s General Secretariat for Civil Protection has warned that the fire risk will remain high for several days. On Monday, the temperature in central Greece is expected to exceed 106 degrees.

More info at New York Times, The Guardian, and NBC