ATHENS, Greece (CBSNewYork) — The wildfire season is taking a huge toll on beach communities in Greece. At least two large fires have killed 74 people and the death toll could rise as gale force winds fueled several large wildfires raging across seaside towns near Athens. Witnesses say the fires are changing direction so quickly that many people are being caught off-guard. Some people even swam out to sea to escape the flames rescued by fishing boats. In a heartbreaking discovery, Red Cross workers found more than 2 dozen bodies huddled together, hugging each other. Firefighters from across Europe are racing to the area to help battle the flames. Drone video shows homes and cars reduced to charred metal and ash. One woman broke down in tears as she toured the devastation. Tourists in one resort community were being evacuated by bus but thick smoke is making driving nearly impossible. Officials used a flotilla of boats to rescue 700 people in the midst of the deadliest fire season to hit Greece since in more than 10 years. Greece’s prime minister has declared three days of mourning for those killed in the fires.
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Death Toll Rises As Strong Winds Fuel Wildfires In Greece