A police car siren calls for the last residents of the village of Gouves on the Greek island of Evia to evacuate as fire rages down a mountainside and engulfs the first houses.
“I don’t want to, I don’t want to,” repeats in sobs a woman on her porch who cannot find the strength to flee even as the approaching inferno turns the sky orange.
The fires remained out of control over large swathes of Evia island on Sunday, as evacuations were continuing, pushing hundreds of people towards the beach.
Many villagers joined the battle, and around 10 men were busy digging, cutting and pulling out branches in an effort to slow the raging fire despite the repeated urging of police to leave.
Forming a human chain, they unrolled water hoses fed by agricultural pick-ups, desperate to save their livelihood.
“If people leave, the villages will burn for sure,” says Yannis Selimis, a young man from Gouves. “We are in the hands of God.”
Tempers flared over a lack of government response.
“Which authorities? Which firefighters? Do you see anybody here?” exclaims one local.
“They burnt our paradise,” says Triantafyllos Konstantinos, 46. “We are done,” he sighs.
“It’s tragic. We are all going to the sea,” says Nikos Papaioannou as the fire steadily encroaches on residential areas near the island’s northern coasts.