Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said wildfires that ripped through the outskirts of the capital Athens and other parts of the country this month underline the need for radical shifts in behaviour to tackle global warming.

Everything needs to change in order to minimise the effects of the climate crisis, he told parliament during a debate on the blazes and criticism of the government's response to them.

Dealing with the crisis "is forcing us to change everything; the way we produce agricultural products, how we move around, how we generate energy and the way we build our homes," Mr Mitsotakis said.

Part of a succession of blazes that struck southern Europe during a summer heatwave, the Greek fires scorched more than a quarter million acres of pine forest, with the island of Evia and areas of the Peloponnese, including near the archaeological site of the ancient Olympics, also hit.

Mr Mitsotakis said an earlier public apology for the disaster was also a call for action to become better at tackling such phenomena.

"We were called to put out 1,279 wildfires ... the majority were tackled in the beginning but some got away. Preparedness was not adequate," he added.

Defending the response of the fire brigade and civil protection services, he reiterated that his government's top priority was to save lives.

Earlier this month, Greece recorded its hottest temperatures since 1987.

Mr Mitsotakis, who has approved a €500 million aid budget for Evia and the Attica region around Athens, said the protracted heatwave had turned forests into powder kegs.

"It is wrong to say that wildfires are only put out from the air. We cannot have a helicopter above every home," he said, but pledged to increase aerial firefighting capacities and set up a force able to operate efficiently inside forests.

Russia's central regions battling 'extreme' wildfires

Russia's central regions are battling "extreme" wildfires, fuelled by an unusual heatwave that comes after forest fires linked to climate change ravaged Siberia for most of the summer.

Authorities were fighting 15 wildfires in the Urals region of Sverdlovsk, the emergencies ministry said.

The region - which lies on the border of Europe and Asia - faced "extreme fire hazard" due to a heatwave, it added.

Images on social media showed flames on either side of a federal highway between regional capital Yekaterinburg and the Urals city of Perm, forcing the road shut for most of the day, according to reports.

Meanwhile, fires had grown so intense in Mordovia, a region southeast of Moscow, that firefighters were forced to escape from a "ring of fire", the ministry said.

In the Nizhny Novgorod region east of Moscow, nine planes provided by the emergencies ministry, the defence ministry and the Russian National Guard had dropped 129 tonnes of water onto a large wildfire spreading to neighbouring Mordovia.

Authorities had deployed 1,200 firefighters to put out the blaze, the emergencies ministry said.

Firefighters battle a wildfire in the Smidovich Nature Reserve

President Vladimir Putin pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to protect the country's forests, saying the nation must learn from the "unprecedented" wildfires that engulfed swathes of Siberia.

In the country's largest and coldest region of Yakutia, fires have burned through an area larger than Portugal.

The emergencies ministry said that there were 50 forest fires now burning in the region.

Officials in hard-hit regions have called for resources and economic support from Moscow to deal with the damage.

Experts blame the huge fires that have ripped across Russia's vast territory in recent years on climate change, negligence and underfunded forestry management services.

Russia's forestry agency says fires this year have torn through more than 173,000 square kilometres, making it the second-worst season since the turn of the century.

A former sceptic of man-made climate change, Mr Putin has called on authorities to do everything possible to help Russians affected by the gigantic fires.