ATHENS, Greece — Authorities on the island of Lesbos called for the immediate evacuation Tuesday of thousands of refugees to the Greek mainland after fires started by rioting residents gutted a detention camp. But European Union officials appeared cool to the idea.

More than 4,000 people were housed at the camp in Moria on Lesbos where the fire broke out late Monday, destroying or damaging about 160 tents according to Greek officials. No injuries were reported at the camp, about 5 miles north of the island’s main town. Nine migrants were arrested on public disturbance charges after the chaotic scenes.

Police said the blaze was started during clashes between different ethnic groups in the camp, where tensions are high amid uncertainty on whether residents will be granted asylum in Greece or deported back to Turkey, from where they arrived in smugglers’ boats.

Families with young children hastily packed up their belongings and fled into the nearby fields as the fire raged after nightfall. Many were later given shelter at volunteer-run camps.

More than 60,000 migrants and refugees are stranded in transit in Greece, and those who arrived after March 20 have been restricted to five Aegean islands under an EU-brokered deal to deport them back to Turkey. But the agreement has been fraught with delays, and most of the people in island camps have applied for asylum in Greece, launching a lengthy process during which they cannot be deported.

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