Eighteen burned bodies have been found in northeastern Greece as hundreds of firefighters struggle to control major wildfires burning out of control there for days, fanned by strong winds.
The bodies are believed to be of refugees or migrants. They were found in a forest near the Turkish border that is an entry point for people seeking to enter the European Union, fire department spokesman Yiannis Artopios said in a televised address on Tuesday.
Hot, dry and windy conditions have seen dozens of wildfires break out across Greece with the most severe entering its fourth day and encroaching on the northeastern port city of Alexandroupolis.
This week’s death toll now stands at 20 after two people died and two firefighters were injured on Monday in separate fires in northern and central Greece.
The fire risk level for several regions, including the wider Athens area, was listed as extreme for a second day on Tuesday.
In northeastern Greece, a massive wall of flames raced through forests towards Alexandroupolis overnight, prompting authorities to evacuate eight villages and the city’s hospital.
The flames turned the sky over the city and across the region red, hiding the sun as choking smoke and swirling flecks of ash filled the air.
Greece suffers destructive wildfires every summer. Its deadliest killed 104 people in 2018 at a seaside resort near Athens.