Nearly 300 firefighters, two water bomber planes and five helicopters are battling to put out a forest fire in Greece while in Turkey firefighters are battling to control wildfires still raging in the resort towns of Manavgat and Marmaris.

Five villages have been evacuated in Greece and eight people hospitalised with burns and respiratory problems since the fire broke out early yesterday near Patras, in the Peloponnese, about 210km west of Athens.

The mayor of nearby Aigialeias, Dimitris Kalogeropoulos, called it "an immense catastrophe".

"There has not yet been an official assessment of the damage, but around ten houses in the area of Ziria have burnt down, as well as farming sheds and animals stables, which is a lot for the residents of the region who make their living from agriculture," he told the ANA news agency.

Aigialeias' town hall provided emergency accommodation yetserday for people who had to flee their villages.

The local newspaper, Patrastimes, reported that around 30 houses, farming sheds and stables were consumed by flames in the villages of Ziria, Kamares, Achaias and Labiri.

"We slept outside overnight, terrified that we would not have a house when we woke up," a Labiri resident told Greek TV station Skai.

The seaside resort of Loggos was also evacuated, with nearly 100 residents and tourists sent to the nearby city of Aigio.

Civil Protection Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis, who visited the scene to assess the damage this morning, said "the current situation is better than it was on Saturday".

"A hundred properties have been saved thanks to the firefighters' battle against the flames," he said. "We remain cautious and will support our citizens affected by this fire."

A motorway in the region was shut down as was the Rio-Antirrio bridge across the Gulf of Corinth connecting the Peloponnese and mainland Greece, ANA reported.

Hospitals in Patras and Aigio were put on notice to admit any injured people, while the coastguard has been on standby to rescue any swimmers overcome by smoke.

According to the civil protection agency, 58 forest fires have broken out over the past 24 hours, although most were quickly brought under control.

The EU's European Forest Fire Information System said that 13,511 hectares had been burnt.

Greece is hit by forest fires every summer, but experts have warned that global warming increases both their frequency and intensity.

The country has been in the grip of another heat wave since Friday, with temperatures hovering between 42C and 44C, weather forecasters say.

Several days ago, a fire ravaged Mount Penteli, close to the capital Athens, but caused no casualties.

Wildfires continue to rage in resort towns in Turkey

Turkish firefighters are battling to control wildfires still raging in the resort towns of Manavgat and Marmaris, and some tourists were evacuated from Bodrum on the Aegean coast.

Most of the dozens of blazes that erupted in Turkey in the last five days have been contained, authorities said.

However, fires were still blazing in Manavgat in the south and Marmarisin the west, fanned by sweltering heat and winds, Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said.

A forest fire broke out in the Kuyucak area of Bodrum, a popular holiday resort

In the popular resort town of Bodrum, a group of tourists and hotel staff was evacuated by boat as flames spread and plumes of smoke filled the sky.

Other tourists had been evacuated in recent days. By this morning, Mr Pakdemirli said the blaze in the area was contained.

Some 107 of the 112 fires that broke out in the past five days in Turkey had been contained as of this morning, according to Forestry Ministry data.

Eight people have died since Wednesday.