Photos: Wildfires in Greece, Italy, Tunisia and Algeria

The crackling flames have left charred forests, drawing in thousands of firefighters to stop their hungry march. Residents are filling buckets of water to douse blazes in their hometowns. And tourists are huddled with their belongings, not in hotels or resorts, but in evacuation centers.

The hundreds of wildfires that raged in recent days across Southern Europe and North Africa forced the evacuations of thousands of people. A heat wave in the region has sent temperatures close to record highs and parched the land, officials say, conditions prime for the wildfires to spread.

Among most fiercest hit is Greece, where blazes have ravaged forest areas on the mainland and the islands of Corfu, Evia and Rhodes. More than 20,000 people, many of them visitors, have been evacuated in recent days. On Tuesday, officials said that two pilots working to douse the flames on Evia had been killed in a plane crash.

Firefighters have also been tackling new wildfires in Croatia, France, Portugal, Spain and the island of Sicily this week, with fears that the blazes could threaten more residents. And in Algeria, more than 30 people have died, including 10 soldiers in the northern province of Bejaia on the Mediterranean, officials said.

Here is a selection of photographs from the wildfires.

An aerial view of a burned area after a fire near Vati, on the Greek island of Rhodes, on Wednesday.

Souhila Belkati carrying her child in her house that was burned by a wildfire on Tuesday in Bejaia, Algeria.

A burned shop near the village of Kiotari on Rhodes.

A forest fire in northwestern Tunisia close to the border with Algeria on Monday amid hot temperatures.

Residents trying to extinguish a fire on the Greek island of Rhodes on Monday.

Charred trees next to a beach in the village of Kiotari on Rhodes on Monday.

Debris from a firefighting aircraft that crashed while working to extinguish a blaze on the Greek island of Evia on Tuesday.

A firefighter after rescuing a cat and two rabbits from a fire between the villages of Kiotari and Gennadi on Rhodes on Monday.

Firefighters trying to extinguish a forest fire in northwestern Tunisia near the border with Algeria on Monday.

An aircraft dropping water over flames on Rhodes on Tuesday.

Members of the public trying to extinguish wildfires on Rhodes on Tuesday.

The bodies of chared goats at the edge of a road on Rhodes on Tuesday.

Tourists and residents trying to put out a fire on Rhodes on Monday.

Beach bars destroyed by wildfires on Rhodes on Tuesday.

A satellite image showing fires burning on Rhodes on Monday.

A fire close to an airport near Palermo, Sicily, on Monday.

Tourists sheltering in a sports hall on Sunday after being evacuated because of a wildfire on Rhodes.

Residents bracing for an approaching wildfire on Rhodes on Monday.

Battling a fire on Rhodes on Monday.

Watching fires near a village on Rhodes on Tuesday.