Greek firefighters recovered the bodies of 18 people on Tuesday who they believe may be migrants in the Evros region of northern Greece, close to the city of Alexandroupolis, where a major wildfire was burning for a fourth day.
The charred remains were found near a shack on the border of the Dadia Forest, a spokesman for the Greek fire service, Yiannis Artopios, said in a televised briefing. There have been no reports of missing people in the area, so the authorities said they were examining the possibility that the dead “had entered the country illegally,” Mr. Artopios said.
No further details were available about the dead. The Evros region, where the bodies were found, is on the border with Turkey and is a crossing point for thousands of migrants seeking to enter Europe through Greece.
The fire service spokesman added that the authorities had sent several evacuation alerts since Monday to cellphones registered with both Greek and foreign networks in the area. He added that the Greek police had mobilized a team of specialists to identify the victims.
The fire near Alexandroupolis was one of several burning on Tuesday, and Greek firefighters’ efforts to battle them were complicated by dry conditions and strong winds.
As the flames spread in the early afternoon, the authorities in Alexandroupolis called for residents of 10 villages to leave. That followed the evacuation of dozens of hospital patients, some of whom were put onto a ferry in the early hours of the morning, while others were taken by ambulance. Most were being transferred to the northern city of Kavala.
Video from the early hours of Tuesday showed the sky glowing red behind the Alexandroupolis university hospital after the flames reached its grounds.
On the ferry, patients with IV drips lay on mattresses as nurses walked among oxygen tanks and other equipment, video showed. Εleven newborns from the same hospital were among those transferred.
In addition to the blaze near Alexandroupolis, Greek firefighters on Tuesday were battling wildfires on the islands of Kythnos and Evia, in the northern region of Rodopi and in Aspropyrgos and Fyli, west of Athens.
The European Union operation that maintains a standing firefighting force pooled from E.U. nations dispatched more resources to Greece on Tuesday. The help includes 58 firefighters, five airplanes from Croatia, Germany and Sweden, a Black Hawk helicopter and nine water tanks from the Czech Republic. Sweden said it was also dispatching two water-scooping aircraft to help.
On Monday, the authorities linked two more deaths to the fires after the charred body of a shepherd was found in the central Viotia region and the remains of a man believed to be a migrant was discovered in Lefkimmi, near Alexandroupolis.
Matina Stevis-Gridneff contributed reporting from Brussels.