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Rhodes wildfires 'caused by arson' say Greek firefighters after XR blames climate change


Flames engulfing the Greek island of Rhodes were “set by human hands”, a representative from the local fire department has said.

A police investigation is underway after wildfires hit the popular holiday destination.

Local firefighters have struggled to battle the blaze since it started six days ago, with winds accelerating its spread.

Hundreds of British tourists have been caught up in the chaos as other parts of Greece also face wildfires amid summer temperatures above 40C.

Vassilis Vathrakogiannis, a representative from the Rhodes Fire Department, told local news outlets: “Fires are set by human hands.

“Whether it is due to negligence or fraud will be seen (but) people have been summoned for statements and others will be summoned.

“As soon as we have complete information – because the investigation is in full swing, we will make announcements.

No arrests have been made in relation to events in Rhodes but preliminary enquiries reveal “indications” pointing to arson.

A man from the village of Apollo was brought in for questioning over suspicions of arson, local media outlets have claimed.

Local police revealed 16,000 people were evacuated by land and a further 3,000 by sea from a dozen villages and several hotels.

Approximately 266 emergency service personnel have been tackling the blaze.

The Greek Army was brought in to assist firefighters dealing with the situation.