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Wildfires Burning in Half of Greece


Greek firefighters continue to fight blazes burning in half the country Monday amid allegations of arson in the deadly wildfires that have left at least 63 people dead.

Officials are offering more than one million dollars for information leading to the arrests of arsonists blamed for the fires that have left hundreds homeless.

Dozens of the deadly blazes are still burning today and new fires have appeared in several areas.

Extremely hot weather and strong winds are making it difficult to put out the flames and have overwhelmed Greece's ability to control the fires.

Firefighters, planes and helicopters from European Union nations, Serbia, Israel and other countries began arriving Sunday.

Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has declared a nationwide state of emergency. He expressed grief and rage, and said the fact that so many wildfires have broken out since Thursday can not be a coincidence.

In southern Greece Sunday, the fires stopped just short of Ancient Olympia - the U.N. World Heritage site where the first Olympic games were held. A fire protection system started just in time to save the ancient ruins of temples and the first Olympic stadium from incineration.

Local media are speculating that land developers and property owners may be responsible for setting many of the fires to clear land for new construction. At least four people have been arrested in connection with the blazes.
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