Wildfires rage across southern Europe as two air force pilots die while battling blaze in Greece

Greece has declared three days of national mourning for its armed forces after two air force pilots were killed as they battled the intense wildfires that have been raging across the south of the country for days. 

Dangerous and disruptive blazes are now raging across several countries in the Mediterranean as scientists provide the confirmation: this is climate change in action.

The sun is seeing red and so is much of the Mediterranean. Record heat waves and widespread wildfires have left southern Europe sweltering and singed. 

A leading group of scientists have described all of this as "virtually impossible" without climate change.

Boiling hot and tinder-dry, the fires in Greece are now rampant and the evacuations are picking up as the winds do.

Between Rhodes and Corfu, 20,000 people have now been rescued, with flames threatening thousands of hectares. The suspected work of arsonists is only adding to the chaos. 

Tragically the crisis turned deadly on Wednesday. A water bomber on its way to help clipped a tree and crashed into the hillside. Both pilots on board died. 

Emergency services are so overwhelmed locals have now formed amateur rapid-response teams, desperate to protect their homes.

"I am worried about houses, I am worried about nature. It's very bad. All of us, we feel terrible," said one local. 

It is the most prolonged heat wave in Greece in living memory and the suffocating temperatures are being felt far beyond.

Turkey, Croatia, and Italy each dealt with similarly dangerous summers.  

An airport in Sicily was shut down overnight as wildfires touched down on the runway and the local hospital was evacuated facing a separate blaze. 

Short-term relief is on the way, with a temperature drop expected in 36 hours, but the burning skies paint a devastating bigger picture of the future.