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Are there fires in Crete? Where the Greece wildfires are and latest travel advice as island put on high alert

Wildfires continue to rage across Greece and other popular European destinations following an extreme heatwave.

The island of Rhodes has been particularly badly affected, with British holidaymakers describing their chaotic attempts to leave on emergency repatriation flights.

Evacuation orders have also been issued for Corfu and the island of Evia, where a military plane crashed on Tuesday while helping to tackle the blazes.

Holiday firms have been criticised for still offering trips to the fire-hit areas, including to hotels that have suffered damage.

The wildfires have raised concerns for travellers hoping to make trips to Greece as the summer holidays get underway, with many islands subject to warnings.

Are there fires in Crete?

There are not currently any reports of widespread fires in Crete, the largest of the Greek islands.

However, on Tuesday morning the popular holiday destination was put on high alert, with residents told that there is an extreme risk of fire.

The fire alert warning map issued by the Greek government for Tuesday 25 July (Photo: General Secretariat of Civil Protection)

This warning, which was issued by Greece’s Civil Protection, means Crete is at a level five alert category, which is the same as Rhodes.

It means that officials are on urgent standby to respond to any fires that arise on the island, while citizens are recommended to avoid anything that could cause a blaze, such as outdoor barbecues and disposing of cigarettes.

There is currently no specific travel guidance from the UK Government relating to people planning on travelling to Crete.

Flames burn a forest in Vati village, on the Aegean Sea island of Rhodes, southeastern Greece, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. A third successive heat wave in Greece pushed temperatures back above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) across parts of the country Tuesday following more nighttime evacuations from fires that have raged out of control for days. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Flames burn in a forest in Rhodes as the wildfires rage (Photo: AP)

Where are the wildfires in Rhodes and Corfu?

In Rhodes, the fires are predominantly located around the middle of the island, near the village of Laerma, and stretching out towards the eastern and south-eastern coast, where the resort town of Kiotari is situated.

The wildfires are also affecting the nearby townships Genadi and Vatican, which are south of Kiotari, and Kalathos, Masari and Malonas to the north. People have been told to evacuate to parts of the island north from these villages.

Rhodes wildfire map

The advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) at the time of writing is for anyone to planning to travel to Rhodes to check with their travel operator or hotel prior to travel.

Rhodes is not on the FCDO’s red list, which is when the office advises against all but essential travel to areas on the list.

This often means there are no direct flights between the location and the UK, with countries currently on the list including Russia, Ukraine, Sudan, Iran and Belarus.

In Corfu, the wildfires are affecting the north of the island, with people being evacuated to the northern coastal town of Acharavi from Loutses on Tuesday morning.

More than 2,000 people are reported to have been evacuated from the island before Tuesday due to the blazes.

Corfu’s deputy mayor of tourism and construction, Chariton Koutscouris, told the BBC recently the blazes were down to the actions of a “group of people”, adding: “They get pleasure out of this with the pain of the other people.”

Like Crete, there is no specific guidance from the FCDO for people who are considering travelling to the island.

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