A police officer tries to extinguish the wildfire burning in the village of Vatera, Lesbos.
© Alexandros Avramidis/Reuters
A police officer tries to extinguish the wildfire burning in the village of Vatera, Lesbos.
Tourists and residents have been evacuated from a popular resort on the Greek island of Lesbos after a wildfire destroyed homes in the beachside village of Vatera.

Firefighters deployed seven planes and a helicopter to tackle the blaze, with reinforcements expected to arrive from northern Greece.

The fire broke out at 10am local time (0800 BST) on Saturday and is burning on two fronts, one heading towards Vrisa village and another inside Vatera.

The West Lesbos mayor, Taxiarchis Verros, ordered the evacuation of the busy beach resort as a precautionary measure, acting on the advice of the fire brigade, Athens news agency reported.


He did not provide figures on how many were evacuated but there were several buses and small boats to take people away. At least two houses were ravaged by the fire, said the state broadcaster ERT.

Firefighters on the Greek mainland were also battling for a third day a wildfire in the Dadia national park, the country's largest Natura 2000 site known for its black vulture colony, in the north-eastern region of Evros.

The fire brigade said the thick smoke from the blaze prevented firefighting planes from operating.

A wildfire in mountains near Athens on Wednesday damaged homes and forced hundreds of people to evacuate after gale-force winds earlier this week.

Greece's worst wildfire disaster was in 2018 in the coastal suburb of Mati near Athens, which killed 102 people, just a few miles from the area affected by Wednesday's blaze.

On Saturday, a memorial service was held at the seaside town to commemorate the victims.

A heatwave and wildfires last year destroyed 103,000 hectares (255,000 acres) in Greece, killing three people.

Source: Agence France-Presse