By Eric Leister, AccuWeather meteorologist
August 15,2017, 6:26:58AM,EDT
Several weeks of blistering heat and dry weather set the stage for dangerous wildfires across southern Europe.
A wildfire broke out near Varnavas, Greece, just to the north of Athens on Sunday and continues to burn out of control.
The wildfire has already destroyed at least 20 homes and forced evacuations across the popular holiday location, according to the Associated Press.
Smoke reduced visibility across Athens at times on Monday as firefighters, two planes and five helicopters continued to battle the blaze.
Strong winds in the area, combined with very dry vegetation, have made containing the fire difficult.
Winds will become even stronger at times into late in the week, which could cause the fire to spread or aid in starting new fires.
“The strongest winds will occur during the mornings through Thursday,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys.
“Wind gusts over 40 km/h (25 mph) will be possible both days,” added Roys.
High temperatures above 32 C (90 F) and dry weather are expected through at least Friday.
Elsewhere, a state of emergency as been declared on the Greek island of Zakynthos, where wildfires have been burning since Friday.
Greece Weather Center
Detailed Athens, Greece forecast
Portugal Weather Center
In Portugal, more than 3,700 firefighters continue to battle around 210 active fires across the country. The fires have forced evacuations and injured at least 45 people.
Spain and Morocco have sent aid to Portugal to assist with containing the blazes.
A wildfire earlier this summer killed 64 people in Portugal.