A Darlington couple were back at their Rhodes holiday hotel today (Sunday July 23) after an overnight evacuation amid the ongoing wildfire affecting part of the Greek island.

Some flights to the Aegean island have been cancelled today, but other operators are monitoring the situation, with temperatures predicted to reach 45C as firefighters continue to tackle the five-day fire inland.

Simon Warne and fiancee Beth were among those holidaymakers affected by the crisis and are now undecided whether to cut short their week-long break for the planned wedding of friends, who they met on a previous holiday.

The Darlington couple, who only flew out from Leeds-Bradford Airport on Thursday evening, were among the large evacuation of holidaymakers from coastal hotels last night.

Read more: Rhodes wildfires see flights cancelled and Brits evacuated

Some, Dunkirk-like, escaped on boats supplied by the Greek Coastguard, Army and private craft, while others, like themselves, travelled by bus to the capital, Rhodes town, in the north of the island.

But first, they had to spend three hours in the basement of a nearby hotel, unaware where they were heading, after being told at short notice to leave their own hotel in the resort of Lindos, on the east coast.

The Northern Echo: Smoke cloud over Darlington couple's Rhodes  holiday hotel yesterday (Sat July 22)

Mr Warne said: “They eventually called people out by their operator.

“We got on a bus heading north away from where the fires are.

“They tried to get us to a place near to a school, but we couldn’t stay there, so, then we went to what looked like a middle school in the centre of Rhodes (town).

The Northern Echo: Simon Warne and fiancee Beth had to evacuate Rhodes hotel due to fear of spread of wildfire on

“I’ve never been in a war zone, but I imagine that’s what it is like.

“Local people did everything they could, bringing us water and blankets.

“It was a hot, sticky night and we tried to sleep outside, but we didn’t get much sleep.”

Read more: Holidays and flights to Greek island ravaged by fire cancelled

Mr Warne said they were told they could return to their hotel, early today, but as queues formed for taxis and buses, they were grateful to a local woman who gave them a lift 50km back to Lindos, refusing to accept payment.

The Northern Echo: School evacuation crisis centre in Rhodes last night

Speaking from the hotel, today (Sunday July 23), Mr Warne said the wind direction appeared to have changed and there was no sign of the smoke clouds which hung over the resort yesterday.

“It was quite windy yesterday, but much calmer today and it's clear where we are.

“You look out here now and think there’s nothing wrong, but the last 24 hours have been interesting to say the least.”

The Northern Echo: Tourists evacuating some Rhodes resorts by boat on Saturday (July 22)Tourists evacuating some Rhodes resorts by boat on Saturday (July 22) (Image: AP)

He said he and Beth have been contacted by Jet2 and are waiting to hear back from the holiday airline to see if a flight is made available to return them home early, later today.

“I’m in two minds, but I think Beth would just come home now if we are given the chance. We’ll wait to see.”

Jet2 announced it was cancelling all five holiday departures which were due to fly to Rhodes today, including a 3.35pm scheduled flight from Newcastle.

The Northern Echo: The devastating wildfires in RhodesThe devastating wildfires in Rhodes (Image: AP)

But it will fly the aircraft to the island empty of passengers to be able to operate homeward-bound flights for customers from the island.

The company said: “We have cancelled all flights and holidays that are due to depart to Rhodes today (five flights in total).

The Northern Echo: Raging wildfires in RhodesRaging wildfires in Rhodes (Image: AP)

“We will be contacting affected customers to update them, and to let them know that they will be provided with a full refund and the opportunity to rebook.

“We will fly those five aircraft to Rhodes with no customers onboard, so that we can bring customers back to the UK on their scheduled flight.

“We are keeping the situation under constant review, and we will continue to make decisions in the best interests of our customers.”

Read next:

Get more from The Northern Echo with a Premium Plus digital subscription from as little as only £1.50 a week. Click here

Another operator, EasyJet, said flights were operating as normal, but it will keep the situation, "under constant review.”

Matthew Lodge, the UK’s ambassador to Greece, said: “Since the wildfires situation deteriorated yesterday @ukingreece has been working with the Greek authorities, airlines and tour operators to support UK nationals on Rhodes.”

He added that a rapid deployment team from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office was on its way to the island.