Authorities uncover "serious indications" Greek wildfires were started deliberately

At least 82 people died in the fires

Authorities in Greece have said there are "serious indications" that a wildfire that killed at least 82 people near Athens was started deliberately.

Public Order Minister Nikos Toskas said satellite image analysis and ground inspections suggest the fire that broke out on Monday was set deliberately.

Tributes have been pouring in since yesterday for Irishman Brian O'Callaghan-Westropp who died in the tragedy.

He was on honeymoon with his wife, Zoe Holohan, in the coastal town of Mati near Athens when the fires erupted.

The couple were married last Thursday, before flying to Greece over the weekend.

They became separated trying to flee the wildfires on Monday.

Ms Holohan made it to a beach and was admitted to hospital where she is still being treated for her injuries.

Brian O'Callaghan-Westropp

The committee of Blood Bikes East, with whom Mr O'Callaghan-Westropp volunteered, paid tribute to him this morning.

"Brian was such a vivacious character with an ability to enter a room and see everyone and touch everyone with a smile,” he said.

"Brian didn’t believe in doing something half-heartedly, he reached out and embraced life with both arms and lived it to the full.

Franco De Bonis worked with Mr O'Callaghan-Westropp at Blood Bikes East - and said colleagues are in shock this evening.

“He was just this big personality – a big loveably guy; a very strong personality,” he said.

“But always with a good heart; you came to realise that he was coming at it that way because we wanted to get things done - because he cared.”

The fires erupted on Monday afternoon and struck coastal villages popular with holidaymakers.

Many people fled to the safety of the sea with just the clothes on their backs. Survivors spoke of harrowing experiences – including stories of entire families burned alive in their homes.

"We were alone; there was nobody to help us,” said resident Evi Kavoura. “Everybody did what they thought they had to do to survive on their own.”

“I feel a pain in my heart, a very heavy load.”

The search for more victims continued on Thursday as authorities confirmed death toll had risen to at least 82.

Germany has sent a team of forensic specialists to help officials identify victims.

The team includes people who worked on major disasters such as the 2002 midair plane crash over Ueberlingen in Germany that killed 71 people and the 2004 Boxing day tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed at least 225,000 across multiple Asian countries.

Post-mortems and identification procedures are ongoing at a morgue in Schisto, west of Athens, which involve coroners, police forensic units, and forensic dentistry experts from Athens University.

The chief coroner in Athens says the task of identifying victims is difficult because most of the bodies at the morgue were severely burned.

Authorities are working to put together a complete list of those missing.

It is the worst fire in Greece since 2007, when large sections of forest and farmland were destroyed mainly in the country's south, and more than 60 people were killed.

With reporting from IRN ...