More than 600 firefighters, backed by aircraft, struggle to contain wildfires

[Michael Varaklas/AP]

More than 600 firefighters, including reinforcements from several European countries and backed by a fleet of water-dropping planes and helicopters, were battling three major wildfires in Greece Sunday, two of which have been raging for days.

A massive blaze in the country's northeastern regions of Evros and Alexandroupolis, believed to have caused 20 of the 21 wildfire-related deaths in the past week in Greece, was burning for a ninth day.

The blaze, where smaller fires combined to form one of the largest single wildfires ever to have struck a European Union country, has decimated vast tracts of forest and burned homes in outlying areas of the city of Alexandroupolis. 

On Sunday, 295 firefighters, seven planes and five helicopters were tackling it, the fire department said. Evacuation orders were issued for two villages, one in the Evros region and another in...

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