Wildfires continue to ravage south Greece, 64 dead

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Intense fires that have blazed for five days in southern Greece, killing at least 64 people, continue to consume forests, orchards and farmland across the Peloponnese peninsula.
KRESTENA (south Greece), August 28 (RIA Novosti) - Intense fires that have blazed for five days in southern Greece, killing at least 64 people, continue to consume forests, orchards and farmland across the Peloponnese peninsula.

Fire crews and firefighting aircraft, including planes from Russia, Switzerland and Israel, have taken part in efforts to control the devastating wildfires in the Peloponnese, the southernmost part of the Greek mainland.

Rescuers managed to control a fire just outside the walls of Ancient Olympia, the 2800-year-old site of the first Olympic games. Temples to the god Zeus and his wife Hera along with other major historic sites have narrowly escaped fires, and woodland on Kronion hill, one of the country's most popular tourist destinations, has been devastated.

The fires have been the country's worst on record, and follow large-scale forest fires that hit the country in June and July.

On Monday night new blazes broke out near the town of Krestena in the Peloponnese, but were brought under control, and residents have returned to their homes. More than 50 fires broke out on the 21,500 square-kilometer (8,300 square-mile) peninsula on Monday and Tuesday. Fourteen villages have been evacuated.

In addition to the fatalities, many residents are believed to have suffered injuries in the fires, but data on casualties and the exact extent of the damage remains unclear.

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