At least 50 firefighters were dispatched to the Greek island on Saturday morning (Photo: Reuters/Getty)

Hundreds of people were evacuated after a forest fire on the Greek island of Lesbos.

At least 50 firefighters rushed to the coastal village of Vatera near Turkey on Saturday morning, while volunteers were called in to help.

Authorities ordered tourists and residents to flee as the flames grew dangerously close to being fanned by strong winds.

“We are fighting to save the houses,” Mayor Taxiarchis Verras told local media.

According to the police, 450 people from two hotels and 92 houses left the area.

Officers also searched villages for locals who refused to move.

Smoke rises from a forest fire as it approaches the coastal resort of Watera (Photo: AFP)
A volunteer firefighter tries to put out the high flames in the village (Photo: Reuters)
A wounded firefighter is being carried out (photo: Reuters)
Residents were evacuated as the forest fire threatened property (Photo: AFP)

More than five hours after the emergency text message was sent to residents, evacuations were still underway, fire department spokesman Yiannis Artopouios said.

He added that 17 fire trucks, nine special firefighting planes and one helicopter were dispatched to the scene.

Pictures show charred houses and damage to a beach bar and umbrellas, with smoke still billowing.

One firefighter was also injured when the fire engulfed Water.

Temperatures in the Balkan country have steadily risen above 40°C amid fears that such horrific incidents will become more frequent in the heat.

A man tries to put out a fire in a property (Photo: Reuters)
A police officer pours water on the flames as they spread around him (Photo: Reuters)
A fire helicopter drops water in Watera (Photo: Reuters)
Ruined sunbeds and umbrellas are all that remain of the beach bar (Photo: Reuters)

Although wildfires are not uncommon, officials said this summer has been particularly difficult for emergency services, with fires currently raging in the north, south and east of Greece.

In the north of the country, firefighters and volunteers are battling a fire that is spreading quickly in Dadia National Park, a protected nature reserve.

Last year, wildfires ravaged around 121,000 hectares of forest across Greece during the worst heat wave in 30 years.

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Tourists told to escape Greek island ripped apart by wildfires

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