Firefighters battle a wildfire near Avila, Spain, on August 16.
Cesar Manso/AFP/Getty Images

In photos: Europe battles wildfires amid scorching heat waves

Updated 0848 GMT (1648 HKT) August 17, 2021

Firefighters battle a wildfire near Avila, Spain, on August 16.
Cesar Manso/AFP/Getty Images

A summer of record-setting heat in southern Europe has set off devastating wildfires that have torn through forests and homes and destroyed vital infrastructure from Turkey to Spain.

In Greece, firefighters battled flames moving towards ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. In its capital Athens, residents were told to stay at home to avoid the smoke pollution belched into the atmosphere by fires in a northern suburb.

Powerful winds helped fan the flames in Turkey, where apocalyptic scenes followed more than 100 blazes that broke out across the country. As the country reeled from scorching temperatures, hundreds had to evacuate by sea as they fled the advancing fire in the tourist hotspot of Bodrum.

Experts say the heat waves and fires in Europe this summer are signs of the impact of climate change, and that extreme weather will only get worse in coming years.