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Greece fires – Live: 61 wildfires erupt in 24 hours as flames reach outskirts of Athens

Wildfires continue to rage across parts of southern Europe and the Mediterranean.

A local runs to avoid the flames of a wildfire in Gennadi village, on the Aegean Sea island of Rhodes, southeastern Greece, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. A firefighting plane has crashed in southern Greece, killing both crew members, as authorities are battling fires across the country amid a return of heat wave temperatures. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
A local runs to avoid the flames of a wildfire in Gennadi village, on the Aegean Sea island of Rhodes, south-eastern Greece. (AP)

Blazes besieging Greece have reached the outskirts of Athens, with 61 fires breaking out across the country in 24 hours.

As high temperatures and wind caused a perfect storm for fires to break out, firefighters and water helicopters rushed to a blaze in Kifissia, just north of Athens, managing to put out the flames and prevent the fire from spreading.

Thousands of people have been evacuated from islands including Corfu, Evia and Rhodes, while travel companies have announced flight cancellations to fire-hit hotspots.

And wildfires have continued to cause chaos elsewhere in southern Europe and North Africa, with blazes in Italy, Tunisia and Algeria.

At least three people have died in Italy and another four in Greece. In north Africa, at least 34 people died in Algeria due devastating forest fires along its Mediterranean coast.

Spain's Balearic Islands, also a popular tourist spot, have been put on high alert for wildfires as temperatures crept up to 40C this week.

The UK government has also updated its travel advice to areas hit by fires, advising travellers to ensure the correct insurance is in place, and signing up for local emergency alerts.

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Watch: First flights due to rescue British holidaymakers fleeing Rhodes wildfires