Along with much of southern Europe, Greece is facing a period of prolonged heat right now with temperatures over 40C.
As of Monday morning, there are 82 wildfires still burning, 64 of which began on Sunday – the hottest day of the summer yet. The islands of Corfu, Rhodes and Evia are all ablaze after high winds, common for July and August in Greece, helped spread the fires.
However, the Greek tourism minister has called for the public to remain calm in the face of this natural emergency.
Here’s what you need to know.
What’s happening in Rhodes?
Around 19,000 people have been evacuated from Rhodes after a fire broke out after six days of wildfires, with 16,000 leaving by land and 3,000 by sea. Six were briefly treated in hospital for respiratory problems.
That is the largest evacuation from wildfires Greece has ever conducted, according to the Greek government.
Holidaymakers have been left sleeping in makeshift beds while waiting to be repatriated.
An estimated 7,000 to 10,000 Brits are on Rhodes, according to Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell on Monday.
He also warned that the fires may worsen, although it “depends on the wind”.
Most hotels on the island have been evacuated or are fully booked, with many struggling with electricity and water supplies.
Maria Feggou from the Hellenic Red Cross told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme that “almost half of the island is burning”, although the Greek government claimed that was false – only 10-20% of the island is on fire, according to the tourism minister.
Rhodes travel agent Stelios Kotiadis also told Associated Press: “There was panic... the authorities were overwhelmed.”
But, he claimed the abandoned hotels “are in much better condition than reported in social media. ... They will be ready to reopen very soon if Civil Protection gives the go-ahead.”
What are tour operators doing?
Jet2 has cancelled all flights and holidays to Rhodes for the next week, but currently has no plans to send in repatriation flights.
EasyJet is sending two rescue flights on Monday with another on Tuesday, on top of nine previously scheduled flights between Rhodes and the UK.
British Airways has said its flights were running as usual, but customers looking to return early could change their flight for free.
Thomas Cook said it had cancelled some flights with refunds available, while Tui has cancelled all flights until Wednesday. Customers currently in Rhodes will be able to return on their planned flights.
What do officials advise?
Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell stopped short of discouraging people to go to the islands altogether when speaking to broadcasters on Monday, saying that holidaymakers should stick to their tour operators’ advice and listen to the local authorities.
He said the UK government has sent out a “rapid deployment team,” made up of six government representatives and four Red Cross experts. They’re all deployed at the airport, and in “constant contact” with the Foreign Office.
Firefighting aircrafts from Turkey, Croatia and Egypt have also arrived in Rhodes to help tackle the blaze, according to a fire department spokesperson.
The EU claimed to have sent over 450 firefighters and seven airplanes to help, too, while the Greek ministry of foreign affairs have set up a help desk at the international airport for visitors who lost their travel docs.
Greece’s tourism minister Olga Kefalogianni told the Today programme that people should still go to the Greek islands.
She said that the situation in Corfu is “not alarming” and not like the one in Rhodes.
“We had some evacuations from houses, but nothing like the evacuation that took place in Rhodes,” she claimed.
What’s happening in Corfu?
The island issued an evacuation order late on Sunday, with many people being told to leave by sea.
Nearly 2,500 people have been evacuated from Corfu, a local spokesperson for the fire department told the AFP news agency.
However, Andrew Mitchell said that as of 7.30am on Monday, no evacuations had been announced as yet.
The mayor of North Corfu, Giorgos Mahimaris, has alleged that these fires were a result of arson.
“There were four fires that started simultaneously,“ Theofanis Skembris, deputy mayor of North Corfu told the BBC.
“We have to wait for the investigation, but their [the fire department’s] first unofficial assumption is that it was arson – fires can’t start simultaneously in four different places.
“The situation in the island is better now. Most of the fires are under control. There are firefighting airplanes helping. I believe that everything will be over soon.”
He said two helicopters and two fire-fighting planes were currently working on the blaze.
Where else is affected?
The most serious wildfire which broke out on Sunday was on Evia, Greece’s second-largest island.
Central Greece Vice Governor Giorgos Kelaiditis told state media: “The fire may be 2 kilometres (1.25 miles) away, but the wind is strong, the growth is low, the smoke thick and the air is hard to breathe.”
Four villages have been told to evacuate for precautionary measures.
Although temperatures will dip on Monday, they’re not expected to fully start coming down until Thursday when temperatures will finally fall to low to mid-30s C.