Greece declared a state of emergency on the northern Aegean island of Samos on Monday as a wild fire burn out of control, forcing the evacuation of hotels.

High winds fanned the forest fire and hampered the operations to extinguish the blaze.

The fire had taken hold in the two environmentally preserved area of Marathokambos and Kalovrisi.

The blaze began late Monday and rapidly spread to other parts of the island, forcing the evacuation of dozens of hotels and coming dangerously close to several villages.

Six water-bombing airplanes and five helicopters were involved in the operation to bring the wildfire under control but they were grounded at dusk for safety reasons.

Hundreds of firefighters and volunteers were also helping in the effort to put out the blaze.

It is the second time this summer that the island has been hit with fires