- Fires pushed by gale-force winds tore through more parched forests, swallowed villages and scorched the edges of Athens on Saturday with ashes raining onto the Acropolis. The death toll rose to at least 49 as the government declared a nationwide state of emergency.
Soldiers and military helicopters reinforced firefighting forces that were stretched to the limit by Greece's worst summer of wildfires in decades. In the most ravaged area — a string of mountain villages in southern Greece — rescue crews picked through a grim aftermath that spoke of last-minute desperation as the fires closed in.
Dozens of charred bodies were found across fields, homes, along roads and in cars, including the remains of a mother hugging her four children.
And new fronts emerged. Dozens of fresh fires broke out across the country — including some blamed on arson — with the worse infernos concentrated in the mountains of southern Greece.