Turkey battles wildfires for 3rd day near holiday resort

Turkey is continuing for a third day its battle against wildfires near the resort of Marmaris on the Aegean coast on Thursday, with hundreds of people ordered to evacuate.

At least 247 people have been evacuated from areas threatened by wind-driven wildfires, Turkey’s Agriculture and Forestry Minister Vahit Kirisci said at a joint press conference with Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

Kirisci said 3,000 hectares of land were affected by the blazes and 12 planes, 45 water-dropping helicopters and 2,600 personnel were involved in the firefighting.

“I can say that now we are in a much better situation. This morning, air humidity has reached the level of 91 percent,” Kirisci said.

Wildfires erupted in several places on Tuesday evening in the Bordubet region near the Marmaris District of southwestern Mugla Province. The site of the fire is one of the most popular towns for holidaymakers.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Soylu said authorities are treating the fire as a possible arson and have identified a suspect.

“We have an identification about how the fire started. We will share it with the public soon,” said Soylu.

Turkey was hit by one of the worst wildfires in the summer of 2021 fed by strong winds and scorching temperatures, which swept 53 provinces and killed at least eight people and numerous animals. ■

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