The ministry said 266 firefighters, 49 engines, hundreds of volunteers, 10 planes and 8 helicopters were part of the emergency response on Sunday.
International aid included French and Turkish planes, as well as Slovak firefighters and engines.
The fires come as parts of southern Europe suffer a heatwave that has forced many countries, including Greece, to issue warnings, with temperatures topping 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).
Other fires have broken out in Greece this month, including in Athens, where the The Acropolis was closed to tourists on July 15. More than 100 homes and businesses were severely damaged in the Athens fire and another nearby, Reuters reportedciting local authorities.
In response to the latest wildfires, airlines TUI and Jet2 announced on Sunday they were canceling flights to Rhodes as tourists to the island took to social media to document their experiences.
Rhodes Deputy Mayor Athanasios Vyrinis warned on Sunday that authorities were struggling to cope with the large number of evacuees. “There is only water and a little rudimentary food; we have no mattresses or beds,” he said, according to the BBCadding that some people had slept in boxes.
On Twitter, some tourists described how they fled vacation spots on the island – grabbing their children and running – as fires encroached on their hotels, while others spent the night in makeshift accommodation, sleeping on mattresses on the floor.
“We’re safe for now,” said tourist Dan Jones. wrote on Twitter alongside a photo of three young children sitting on a boat, an orange sky behind them. “After wading into the sea and climbing onto a fishing trawler, we are out of harm’s way,” Jones said, describing the experience as “the scariest moment of my entire life” and thanking local people who came to the aid of his family.
Last week, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis cut short his visit to Brussels and returned to Greece while other countries, including Cyprus and Israel, have pledged to help the country. France and Italy sent planes to help with firefighting operations, while Slovakia sent around thirty firefighters and five fire trucks.
In a Sunday updateGreek authorities have described the “extreme weather conditions” prevailing across the country – which has been sweltering in recent weeks – warning that “even the smallest fire can turn into a huge natural disaster”.
Last year, a UN report concluded that the risk of uncontrollable wildfires around the world is intensifying as greenhouse gas emissions increase. Even with significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the UN analysis predicts that the risk will increase by 50% by the end of the century.