As they traversed the harsh, wooded terrain in northeastern Greece, the 18 asylum seekers were presented with an agonizing dilemma: Take the safer route through villages and over highways, but into the arms of the Greek authorities, or travel through the forests and fields being ravaged by Europe’s largest recorded wildfire.
They opted for the forests. They were fleeing war-ravaged Syria, seeking what they hoped would be a better life in Europe.
Instead, they died on a rocky hillside, their ashes now mixed with the gray-scale landscape of Evros, where the climate crisis fueling ferocious wildfires collided with the migrant crisis that has long brought tragedy to this region.
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