Greek Fires Continue to Rage

Flames kill 51; international help on the way
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2007 9:12 AM CDT
Farmers try to extinguish a fire in the village of Varvasena about 15 kilometers south of ancient Olympia, 330 kilometers (206 miles) south of Athens on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2007. Fires tore through parched...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Greece is under a state of emergency as rampant fires continue to torch villages and threaten the vicinity of historic Olympia, Reuters reports. At least 51 are dead and thousands have fled their homes from a swath of flame that spread over 100 miles. PM Costas Karamanlis blames arsonists, and two individuals have been arrested so far.

EU allies and Israel are dispatching assistance to overextended firefighters, including water-carrying planes and brigades of forest rangers. But even after the fires are out, further damage control will be necessary for politicians facing elections next month: "Let them come and see what kind of votes they get," said one man next to his burning restaurant.