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  • Greece wildfires

image copyrightEPAimage captionThe fire, north of Athens, was brought under control on Tuesday

An area north of the Greek capital Athens has been hit by a forest fire with temperatures set to reach 40C (104F) in the next few days.

The fire ripped through a pine forest, destroying homes, before firefighters brought it under control on Tuesday.

Forest fires are a common occurrence in Greece in summer but there are concerns that climate change is worsening the situation.

There have also been blazes reported in Italy and Spain.

image copyrightReutersimage captionSmoke from the fire was seen as far as the capital Athens

People in the Samanta area, 30km (18 miles) north of Athens were evacuated. Others were warned to keep doors and windows closed.

Smoke from the fire was spotted over Athens, limiting visibility in some parts of the capital.

Water-dropping planes and helicopters were used to help 300 firefighters contain the blaze, according to Kathimerini.

image copyrightReutersimage captionSeveral parts of Greece are on high fire alert

The cause of the fire is not yet known but an investigation is now under way.

Several parts of Greece are on high alert for fires.

Fires have also been reported on the Italian island of Sardinia and in Spain's Catalonia region.

image copyrightEPAimage captionFirefighters in Catalonia tackled a wildfire over the weekend

Over the weekend, Catalonia recorded the worst wildfire to hit the region in the last two years.

Rain on Monday meant that firefighters were able to control most of the fire but by that time it had burned through more than 1,657 hectares (4094 acres) of land.

In Sardinia, a number of forest fires have ravaged the south-west of the island with more than 1,000 people evacuated.

image copyrightEPAimage captionThe EU has sent planes to Sardinia to help them fight fires there

The region has declared a state of emergency.

The European Union announced on Sunday that it was sending four firefighting planes to the island following a request from Italian authorities.