But the shifting epicenter of natural disaster has now fallen on Evia, a densely wooded island northeast of Athens, once best known for its beekeepers and resin producers, its olive groves and seaside resorts, and now a capital of the consequences of a warming planet.

This week, as firefighters scrambled to put out rekindling fires and helicopters dropped seawater to sate licking flames, acres of burned hillsides and fields lay under white ash, as if dusted with snow.

I drove through winding roads riddled with fallen trees and electric wires. Smoke hung low, like a thick fog. The trunks of mangled trees still smoldered and the hive boxes of beekeepers looked like burned end tables abandoned in empty fields. Miles away from the fires, the smoke still left an acrid taste in my mouth. Ash drifted around cafes where waitresses constantly watered down tables and the sun imbued the dense haze with a sickly orange hue.

“We lived in paradise,” said Babis Apostolou, 59, tears in his eyes as he looked over the charred land surrounding his village, Vasilika, on the northern tip of Evia. “Now it’s hell.”

This week, the fires covered new ground. In the southern Peloponnese, where wildfires killed more than 60 people in 2007, a long stretch of fire tore through forest and houses, prompting the evacuation of more than 20 more villages. But many Greeks have refused to leave their homes.

When the police told Argyro Kypraiou, 59, in the Evia village of Kyrinthos to evacuate on Saturday, she stayed. As the trees across the street blazed, she fought the airborne barrage of burning pine cones and flames with a garden hose. When the water ran out she beat back the fire with branches.

“If we had left, the houses would have burned,” she said across from the still smoldering ravine. A truck rolled by and the driver leaned out the window, shouting to her that there was another fire in the field behind her house. “We keep putting out fires,” she shouted back. “We don’t have any other job.”

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the prime minister of Greece, has called the recent days “among the hardest for our country in decades” and promised to compensate the afflicted and reforest the land. Residents across the seared north of Evia complained that the government had failed to fly water-dropping aircraft out to them fast enough or that it had waited too long to ask the European Union for help.

Greece’s top prosecutor has ordered up an investigation into whether criminal activity could possibly have sparked the fires, perhaps to clear land for development. Many here blamed mysterious arsonists for starting the fire.

“This is arson,” said Mr. Apostolou. “I had heard they want to put in wind turbines.”

Mr. Tertipis said, “I hope the person who set these fires will suffer as much as my animals.”

But it was also possible that the finger-pointing at arsonists stemmed from a feeling of powerlessness and the need to blame someone — anyone — for a crisis that at least some acknowledged was everyone’s fault.

“We all have to make changes,” said Irini Anastasiou, 28, who expected the fires to keep happening around the world as the planet warmed. She looked out from the front desk of her now empty hotel in Pefki, one of the hardest-hit towns, and saw an opaque wall of haze over the sea.

“Usually, you see clear across to the mountains,” she said. “Now you can see nothing.”

The residents of Evia did what they could. In the town of Prokopi, volunteer firefighters set up base in the Forest Museum (“focused on man and his relationship to the forest”).

Hundreds of boxes packed with supplies for the displaced cluttered the log cabin. They brimmed with crackers and cereals and granola bars. Soft stacks of children-and-adult diapers reached up to the windows. Boxes held medicines and burn creams, aloe vera, Flamigel, hydrogel and Flogo Instant Calm Spray, under a sign promoting TWIG, the Transnational Woodland Industries Group.

An international group of emergency workers operated out of the cabin. Some of the 108 firefighters sent by Romania coordinated with Greek Army officials and local authorities to put out the flames. Some volunteers went out with chain saws to cut down trees while those returning leaned against a wall of bottled water and ruminated on what had gone wrong.

Ioannis Kanellopoulos, 62, blamed heavy snowfall during the winter for breaking so many branches and creating so much kindling on the forest floor. But the intense heat did not help.

“When the fire broke out it was 113 degrees in the shade,” he said.

He said the previous benchmark for destruction in the area was a 1977 blaze. This fire had far eclipsed it, he said, and guaranteed that it would not be surpassed for years.

“There’s nothing left to burn,” he said.

“It’s not California,” added his friend Spiros Michail, 52.

That there was nothing left to burn was the island’s common refrain. The punchline to the terrible joke nature had played on them.

But it wasn’t true. There was plenty more to burn.

At night the fires came back, appearing on the dark hillsides in the distance like Chinese lanterns. The fires burned on the sides of the roads like ghostly campsites.

Stylianos Totos, a forest ranger, stood rod straight as he looked through binoculars at a hillside near Ellinika.

“How do we get access to that one,” he called to his colleague in a truck carrying more than a ton of water. He worried that the wind would change direction from east to west and feed the fire with fresh pines. Just before 9 p.m. Tuesday, one of the small flames flared up, lighting all the barren land and twisted branches around it. “Andrea,” he shouted. “Call it in.”

But any help, and any change in global behavior, had come too late for Mr. Tertipis and his flock.

Mr. Tertipis, 60, who lost his mother and suffered permanent scarring on his left arm in 1977’s fire, rushed back from home to his stables before dawn on Sunday. The fire had consumed half his flock, but left a plush green pine tree and verdant field untouched only a few dozen yards away.

“That’s how it is, in five minutes, you live or die,” he said, adding, “the fire just changes all the time.”

For two days he could not answer the phone or do much of anything other than weep. Then he started cleaning up, wading through the remains in galoshes, dragging load after load away, using a sled he fashioned from a hook and a broken refrigerator door.

He had been raising animals all his life, and he said he had no choice but to keep going, no matter how inhospitable the weather around him had become.

“Things may have changed,” he said with a shrug. “What are you going to do? Just give up?”

Niki Kitsantonis contributed reporting from Evia.

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Greek Fires Force Thousands More to Evacuate

ATHENS — Firefighters continued to battle blazes across Greece on Saturday after another difficult night that saw thousands more people fleeing their homes and hundreds being evacuated by sea, as southern Europe grapples with one of its worst heat waves in decades.

Wildfires are also still raging in Turkey, which is in its 11th day of trying to extinguish flames that are ravaging its southern coastline and that have killed at least eight people and destroyed hundreds of acres of land.

High winds in Greece hampered nighttime firefighting efforts on Friday as wildfires tore through swaths of forestland north of Athens, the capital, and through mountains and farmland on the island of Evia and on the southern Peloponnese peninsula.

As flames ravaged Evia’s coastline, hundreds of residents and tourists were evacuated by ferry, dramatic scenes of which were captured on video by the National Observatory of Athens’s online weather service, Meteo.

North of the capital, police officers went door to door to urge people to abandon their homes, and they evacuated a detention facility for migrants, a day after moving asylum seekers out of another camp in the area.

At first light on Saturday, firefighters and aircraft from several countries — including Croatia, Cyprus, France, Israel, Sweden and Ukraine — joined their Greek counterparts in battling blazes dotting the mainland and islands. Romania and Switzerland were also sending help, followed by the Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany and Spain.

Fifty-five fires were active around the country, the largest of which were north of Athens, on the island of Evia and in Fokida, in central Greece, according to Nikos Hardalias, the deputy civil protection minister, speaking at a briefing early Saturday afternoon. He added that the situation had improved slightly since Friday, but that fires were constantly rekindling as winds strengthened.

Dozens of firefighting aircraft and thousands of firefighters have been working to control the wildfires, but overnight, TV reports said, flames moved north, reaching a new town and forcing six neighborhoods to evacuate.

Earlier Saturday in Greece, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said his government’s priority was protecting human lives, and then, as possible, people’s properties.

A 38-year-old volunteer firefighter from Ippokrateios Politeia, a settlement north of Athens affected by the fires, died on Thursday of head injuries after being hit by a falling electricity pylon.

More than 20 people have suffered burns, including four firefighters, two of whom were critically injured. President Katerina Sakellaropoulou visited those firefighters on Saturday at a hospital in Athens.

The fires have razed tens of thousands of acres of forestland, but the number of homes that have been destroyed remains unclear.

Officials have said that at least three people have been arrested and are facing arson charges in connection with blazes in Kryoneri, north of Athens; in Fthiotida, in central Greece; and in Kalamata, in southern Greece.

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In Photos: Fires Ravage Southern Europe

ATHENS — Shells of houses and cars left gutted by flames. Stretches of forest reduced to ash. Tourists evacuated by boat from once idyllic beaches where the skies are thick with smoke. As southern Europe grapples with one of its worst heat waves in decades, deadly forest fires have engulfed stretches of the region, bringing a newly reopened tourism industry to a halt and forcing mass evacuations.

The raging fires pushed residents from their homes in villages on the Greek mainland and islands and across neighboring Turkey, and forced tourists to abandon beachside destinations across the region.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the government’s handling of the deadly disaster, with opponents denouncing the lack of aerial support for the firefighting efforts.

Hundreds of square miles of forest burned as more than 180 fires blazed across the country. At least eight people died, hundreds were injured and dozens lost their homes.

in a video posted on Twitter. “My forest is in flames right now.”

Firefighters were able to control a fire approaching a power plant in Milas after working through the night to save the facility. Trees on the grounds of the power plant were burned, but the main site was not seriously damaged, officials said.

Greece battled multiple large fires across the country that killed scores of people.

While scientists have not yet had time to evaluate the connection between the current wave of extreme temperatures and global warming, it fits an overall trend that has seen climate change play a role in extreme weather in Europe. Research has shown that in major heat waves across Europe in recent summers, climate change has been a significant worsening factor.

Efthymis Lekkas, a professor of natural disaster management at the University of Athens, warned of “an enduring nightmare in August,” and urged the authorities to be ready for potential flooding after the destruction of large stretches of forest.

Greece’s General Secretariat for Civil Protection warned of an “extreme” risk of fires on Friday, as intense winds are forecast to worsen the situation.

Niki Kitsantonis reported from Athens and Megan Specia reported from New York.

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Baghdad Hospital Fire Kills at Least 82, Many of Them Coronavirus Patients

BAGHDAD — A fire sparked by an exploding oxygen cylinder killed at least 82 people, most of them Covid-19 patients and their relatives, at a Baghdad hospital late Saturday, a devastating example of the pandemic’s impact on a country riddled with corruption and a legacy of decrepit infrastructure.

The hospital, a facility dedicated to Covid-19 patients in one of Baghdad’s poorer neighborhoods, had no smoke detectors, sprinkler system or fire hoses, said Maj. Gen. Khadhim Bohan, the head of Iraq’s civil defense forces. The fire spread quickly because of flammable material used in false ceilings in the intensive care ward, he added.

“If there had been smoke detectors, the situation would have been totally different,” General Bohan told the state-run Iraqiya TV.

Doctors and rescuers described a chaotic scene at the hospital, crowded with relatives of patients despite what was supposed to be a ban on most visitors to avoid the spread of infection. Because of a lack of nursing staff, Iraqi hospitals, even in Covid wards, require a relative to help look after a patient.

report early this year warned of the dangers of hospital fires because of increased oxygen use. It reported almost 70 people were killed in hospital fires around the world related to supplemental oxygen last year, including 10 in Romania. A more recent fire in April in Romania, where intensive care units have also been overwhelmed, killed three patients.

An Iraqi health ministry spokesman said the Ibn al-Khatib hospital, where the fire broke out, was originally built in the 1950s and had been renovated last year to refit it for treating Covid patients. He declined to comment on why the renovation did not include smoke detectors or a sprinkler system, saying that was now under investigation.

Among the dead were some older patients on ventilators who could not move from their beds when the fire started, officials said.

One Facebook notice listed five members of one family who died in the fire: a tribal sheikh being treated for Covid, his wife and their three sons.

“It was a horrible scene,” said Dr. Waad Adnan, a hospital resident who was in the physicians’ quarters next to the hospital when the fire started. “There was the sound of explosions and then huge balls of fire,” he added.

Dr. Adnan, who spoke outside the hospital, said he saw patients and their relatives breaking windows and throwing themselves from the second floor to escape the blaze.

He said the fire was believed to have started when an oxygen cylinder caught fire and then exploded.

“The hospital staff did their best to turn off the central oxygen, but the cylinders began exploding,” he said.

A neighborhood tuk-tuk driver, Ahmed Hassan, said he and other drivers rushed to the hospital to try to help a friend’s aunt who was being treated for Covid, but when they arrived, they found she had already died.

“I couldn’t see anything but heavy smoke and people running and shouting and charred bodies,” said Mr. Hassan, 19. “I heard screaming and saw smoke and people cursing the hospital staff for not helping the patients.”

He said he and other young men spent an hour running in and out of the hospital trying to rescue patients while the fire burned. Some were able to walk, while others, he said, he pulled from their beds.

“I found one of the people who was not able to move and I yelled, ‘This man is still alive, we can save him!’” he said. The older man clung to him and asked him not to leave him. He said, “‘Please, this is my phone. If I die tell my family I forgive them for everything.’”

The man died on Sunday.

Mr. Hassan said he helped rescue a nurse as well as other patients and their relatives. Iraq’s pharmaceutical association said at least one pharmacist died in the blaze.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Khadimi called the fire a crime and ordered an investigation within 24 hours into possible negligence at the hospital.

He ordered the detention for questioning of the health director for the Rasfah area of Baghdad, where the hospital is. The hospital’s director and its head of engineering and maintenance were also ordered detained.

President Barham Salih said the tragedy was a “result of the accumulated destruction of state institutions due to corruption and mismanagement,” in a post on Twitter.

“Showing pain and sympathy with our martyrs and injured sons is not enough without strenuous accountability for the negligent.”

Nermeen al-Mufti and Awadh al-Taiee contributed reporting.

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Firefighters Battle Wildfire on Cape Town’s Table Mountain

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Firefighters in Cape Town on Monday were battling a wildfire that had engulfed the slopes of the city’s famed Table Mountain and destroyed parts of the University of Cape Town’s archival library.

Helicopters dumped water on the area in an effort to contain the blaze, which began on Sunday and was most likely caused by an abandoned campfire, according to South African National Parks officials. But as wind picked up strength overnight — fanning the flames — the fire spread to neighborhoods in the foothills of the mountain and forced some homes to be evacuated on Monday morning.

in a statement, “The wind speed is expected to increase during the day which may impact on the deployment of aerial firefighting.”

according to university officials. The reading room housed parts of the university’s African Studies Collection — which includes works on Africa and South Africa printed before 1925, hard-to-find volumes in European and African languages, and other rare books — as well as a treasured film archive, according to Niklas Zimmer, a library manager at the university.

in a statement, “Some of our valuable collections have been lost, however a full assessment can only be done once the building has been declared safe.”

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Oil Refinery in Indonesia Catches Fire, Prompting an Evacuation

JAKARTA, Indonesia — An oil refinery on Java island in Indonesia caught fire early Monday, sending flames and smoke towering into the sky, injuring at least five people and prompting an evacuation of nearly 1,000 nearby residents.

The blaze at the Balongan refinery in West Java Province, which started shortly after midnight, was visible for miles and burned through the night.

In videos of the fire shared on social media, the sound of an explosion can be heard at the facility, which is about 110 miles east of Jakarta, the Indonesian capital.

company was responsible for another disaster when crude oil leaked from an offshore well and contaminated a 12-mile stretch of West Java shoreline between the refinery and Jakarta. Environmentalists criticized the company for acting too slowly to contain the spill.

The company said the fire would not jeopardize its fuel supply. The refinery mainly supplies the Jakarta area. The company has enough gasoline on hand to supply the country for four weeks.

Dera Menra Sijabat reported from Jakarta and Richard C. Paddock from Bangkok.

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Fire Tears Through Rohingya Camp, Leaving Thousands Homeless Once More

The authorities in Bangladesh searched for survivors on Tuesday amid the smoldering ruins of a sprawling Rohingya refugee camp, one day after a fire killed at least 15 people, injured hundreds and left tens of thousands homeless once again.

The carnage at the camp in Cox’s Bazaar, near the border with Myanmar, was the latest tragedy for residents, who have lived for years in its squalid shanties since fleeing their homes in Myanmar in aftermath of a military-perpetrated massacre.

As many as 400 people are missing and many are presumed dead, according to officials at the Inter Sector Coordination Group, an international relief organization that oversees the camp. Some victims, witnesses said, were caught between the blaze and the camp’s barbed-wire perimeter fences.

committee would investigate the fire and submit a report in the coming days.

But for many Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority, the blaze is another reminder of the international community’s failure to ensure their safety.

“Everything we owned is now ash,” said Ro Anamul Hasan, whose shelter was completely burned down. “This is the second time I lost everything in my life.”

Some of the nearly 100,000 displaced people have sought shelter in nearby camps. Others were seen trying to rebuild shelter amid the ashes of their dwellings, using whatever they could find — bamboo, scraps of plastic and polyethylene sheets.

statement.

Julfikar Ali Manik contributed reporting.

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