Fires in southeast Europe are threatening an increasing number of holidaymakers as the region’s heatwave intensifies.

Wildfires near Athens and on the Greek island of Salamina are among the latest to break out in the eastern Mediterranean. Temperatures in Greece have reached 43C and have been blamed for hundreds of deaths.

The fire on Salamina began in a forested area near Selinia, where ground crews were assisted by firefighting aircraft and a helicopter. Tourists on Cephalonia were forced to flee from forest fires last week. Fires have also been reported in Mani, near Cape Tainaros in southern Greece.

However, fires at Lygia near the coastal town of Nafpakto, and at Mantem Lakko in Halkidiki, are reported to be under control.

The temperatures have also caused power shortages. Seven Greek passenger trains were halted for several hours during a blackout on Tuesday, and on Thursday civil servants were sent home in an attempt to cut demand for electricity.

Elsewhere, a fire fighter on Gran Canaria has confessed to starting a blaze which has hit 3,500 hectares of forest. He said his job contract had run out and he wanted to keep on working.