A large wildfire occurring on the Greek island of Rhodes has required the evacuation of about 2,000 people, including tourists, due to its spread towards the coast.
Evacuation details: Fire department officials have ordered an evacuation affecting two seaside resorts and other areas.
* Around 2,000 people, including tourists, were evacuated by sea, with the evacuation operations supported by various maritime vessels, including 30 private sailboats.
* The evacuated areas account for less than 10% of the island’s tourist accommodations, and all visitors were evacuated without any reported incidents.
Fire Expansion: Initially confined to the island’s mountainous center, worsening conditions have caused the wildfire to spread.
* High temperatures, dry conditions, and winds have propelled the wildfire towards the coast on the island’s central-eastern side.
* Local reports state that the wildfires have reached three hotels, which were already evacuated.
* The shape of the fire on maps is similar to a triangle, with two of its points near the sea and one in the mountains. Each side of this triangle appears more than six miles long.
Firefighting efforts: More than 200 firefighters and significant amounts of equipment are being used to combat the blaze.
* Over 200 firefighters, 40 fire engines, three planes, and five helicopters have been employed.
* In addition to the local firefighting personnel, 31 firefighters and five fire engines from Slovakia are also involved.
* Additional aerial firefighting equipment has been sent by Israel, Jordan, and Turkey.
Fire Risk: Despite some respite predicted for the heatwave on Monday, the elevated risk of further wildfires remains.
* Firefighting forces from eight European Union countries are operating or soon to arrive.
* The fire department has assigned nearly the entirety of the eastern mainland, plus the islands of Evia and Rhodes, and large areas of the southwest, as Category 5, the highest for the risk of fire outbreaks on Sunday.
* Meteorologists have warned that the heat wave could last until at least Friday.
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