Hundreds of firefighters are trying to put out blazes near the Russian Black Sea town of Gelendzhik, one of the country's most popular resorts, the local mayor said on Wednesday.

In a post on Telegram, mayor Alexei Bogodistov said that 441 people, more than 80 vehicles and fire-fighting planes and helicopters had been deployed to combat the forest fires which had engulfed 118 hectares of land.

On Tuesday, the local administration asked residents to volunteer to help emergency services. Footage circulating online showed the wooded hills above the town wreathed in flame.

Forest fires are rare on Russia's humid Black Sea coast, but much of Europe has sweltered in a series of heatwaves this summer, causing blazes across the continent. (Reporting by Felix Light; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)