EVROS, Greece – The discovery of the burned remains of 18 individuals in a Greek forest on Tuesday has been linked to a wildfire burning near the northeastern border of Turkey, according to authorities.
The Hellenic Fire Service reported that the fires near Alexandroupolis led to the gruesome find near a shelter. Authorities are currently conducting investigations in the entire area where the fire originated.
A woman posted footage to Instagram on Monday documenting her escape from an area close to where the bodies were found in a forested area of Dadia.
"Given that there have been no reports of disappearances or missing residents from the surrounding areas, the possibility that these are people who entered the country illegally is being investigated," the fire agency said in a statement.
A disaster victim identification team has been activated by Greek police to help in the case.
The forest fire erupted early Saturday near the village of Melia and was fueled by strong winds. Firefighters have battled the blaze on three fronts, evacuating Monastiraki, Doriskos, Amphitriti, Maistros, and Avantas settlements.
Fire officials sent 112 evacuation alerts to mobile phones in the area, warning of the still-ongoing life-threatening conditions on Tuesday due to over 65 forest fires occurring within 24 hours.