Fires Kill 41 Across Greece

Arson suspected as country burns in 100-degree heat
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2007 7:05 AM CDT
Burnt trees are seen as the sun rises near Zaharo, 330 kilometers (206 miles) southwest of Athens on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2007. The death toll from forest fires that raged uncontrolled across vast swathes...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Forest fires raged uncontrolled across southern Greece for a second day today as the death toll from the blaze reached 41, including some children. Authorities suspect arsonists are to blame for at least some of the 170 fires, many of which have started after dark and away from other burning areas, the AP reports. Greece's PM is chairing an emergency meeting today.

The government has appealed for EU assistance to stop the blazes, which have been aggravated by temperatures of over 100 degrees. Fire brigades have deployed water-dropping helicopters, but fierce winds have limited their effectiveness. The fires will certainly become an issue in next month's elections; the government has already come under criticism for botching earlier rescue efforts.