3 feared dead in Greek forest fires

July 26, 2007 at 7:58 PM

ATHENS, Greece, July 26 (UPI) -- Hundreds of fires ravaged Greek forests and scrublands Thursday, with at least two elderly people dead in the Peloponnese and a third missing.

At least 197 fires were reported burning, Kathimerini said. The worst-hit areas were the Peloponnese and the island of Cephalonia in the Adriatic off the peninsula's northwest coast.

Firefighters found the charred body of a 75-year-old farmer in Aigion near Patras on Wednesday night, The Athens News Agency said. An elderly woman also burned to death.

Fires were also reported in a woodland in Athens not far from a residential area and near the Albanian border in the north. Another blaze crossed the northern border into Macedonia in the former Yugoslavia.

Thousands of fires have been reported in the country since a heat wave began several weeks ago. Authorities said many of were deliberately set.

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