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31 Aug, 2007 01:12

Greece counts cost of fires

Russia has sent another plane to help with the efforts to put out the last forest fire in Greece. It could take up to five days to extinguish the blaze. 64 people have been killed by the devastating fires and the country is facing a bill of at least $US 1

It is reported that a fire is still raging in the western part of the Peloponnese Peninsula, a mountainous region which is hard to reach overland, so the aircraft's help is vital.
Meanwhile, the weather forecast is not comforting, with another heatwave expected this weekend.
There are many versions as far as the cause of the fires is concerned. The government blames arsonists and the police have detained about 80 people on suspicion and already charged seven.

Some say the fires might have been started for financial reasons.
The events are expected to have a big influence on the political life of the country, where an early vote is scheduled for September 16, as there has been a public outcry at the government’s handling of the fires. People have called it “inadequate” and “slow”.
The Socialist Party of Greece is using these fires to highlight the government’s lack of investment in fire protection maintenance of the forest over the years.