The strong winds are making it difficult for the Fire Brigade to tackle a major fire that broke out in the early hours on Monday morning in the Vessa area on the island of Chios. A state of emergency has been declared on the island.

According to reports, the fire broke out in a forested area at about 3:30 am between the villages of Vessa and Lithi and quickly spread towards the southeast of the islands. With the fire approaching a number of settlements, the Fire Brigade evacuated Lithi, Mesta and Elata as a precaution.

Currently there are about 50 firefighters and 40 volunteers engaged in the fight, with six helicopters also being used to tackle to major fire.