Massive forest fire in southern Turkey kills 3

Wildfires erupted in 4 different areas in Antalya's Manavgat district on Wednesday, spread over large area.

Massive forest fire in southern Turkey kills 3

A massive forest fire in Turkey’s Mediterranean coastal city of Antalya has killed three people, officials said Thursday.

The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said in a statement that three people lost their lives and 138 others were affected by the wildfires in the Manavgat district, including one seriously wounded.

The treatment of 58 people continues at hospitals, it added.

Many houses, workplaces, barns, farmland, greenhouses, and vehicles were damaged due to the blaze, it said, adding that a dozen teams are currently doing damage assessment.

The Turkish Red Crescent sent a field kitchen, five catering vehicles, and catering units with a capacity for over 20,000 people.

“The fire in Manavgat, Antalya is under control, but there’s an ongoing fire in Akseki (district) which erupted last night,” Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli told reporters in Antalya.

Public urged to heed warnings

Pakdemirli said an 82-year-old man, who was alone at home, died while evacuation efforts were underway in the village of Kepezbeleni, Akseki. He urged the public to heed official warnings.

Mustafa Yigit, a local official in Manavgat, told Anadolu Agency that 10 people were rescued at the Oymapinar Dam.

“They were affected by the smoke and taken to the hospital,” he said, adding their lives were not in danger.

Pakdemirli said efforts to bring 10 fires under control are continuing with over 1,800 personnel, three planes, 29 helicopters, and 458 water tenders.

The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry is also using an unmanned helicopter to fight the Manavgat blaze. The copter, equipped with high-resolution thermal cameras and sensors, can stay in the air for up to eight hours.

Pakdemirli and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu examined the area of the fire, which started at four different spots in Manavgat before spreading.

“Our hope is that the fires both in Manavgat and in various parts of Turkey are brought under control and extinguished,” Cavusoglu said.

Hüseyin Demir

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