People Evacuate Wildfires In Turkey's Beach Resorts

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NPR 02 August, 2021 - 08:00pm 44 views

What caused the fires in Turkey?

The Turkish fires have been fuelled by a southern European heatwave fed by hot air from North Africa, which has also seen chaos grip other parts of the Mediterranean in recent days. Experts have warned that climate change is increasing both the frequency and intensity of wildfires. Aljazeera.comWildfires cause further devastation in Turkey, Greece

Where are the turkey fires?

The fires, in areas around the southern city of Antalya and parts of Turkey's Turquoise Coast, have killed eight people so far, razed farms and miles of pine forest, and forced evacuations from villages, towns and resorts at the peak of the tourist season. Rescuers raced to save animals as livestock were burned alive. The Washington PostTurkish wildfires burn out of control as local officials plead for help

Are the fires in Turkey under control?

A total of 122 wildfires out of 129 across Turkey's 35 provinces have been brought under control, the country's communications director said on Monday. ... Turkish authorities are maintaining tireless efforts to extinguish the fires through both aerial and ground operations. aa.com.tr122 massive fires in Turkey under control: Top official

The blazes have been raging for six days as Turkey grapples with its worst fire crisis in a decade.

On Monday Turkish authorities said more than 130 blazes had been contained as firefighting efforts continued.

Elsewhere, firefighters are trying to contain wildfires in parts of Greece, Spain and Italy.

Italy's national fire service said it had to deal with more than 1,500 flare-ups across the country on Sunday.

In the eastern city of Pescara, at least five people were injured after a fire forced the evacuation of hundreds from beach resorts and homes.

In Greece, five villages have been evacuated in the Peloponnese region, where temperatures are expected to reach up to 45C this week.

Strong winds and soaring heatwave temperatures across southern Europe have fuelled the destructive fires. Experts say climate change increases both the frequency and intensity of such blazes.

The worst fires have occurred along Turkey's Mediterranean and Aegean coasts - a major tourist region.

Over the weekend dramatic videos showed tourists being evacuated from beach resorts by boat, with Turkish Coastguard vessels involved in rescue operations.

Satellite photos showed vast burnt forests after nearly 100,000 hectares (250,000 acres) were consumed by flames.

Turkish media said firefighters in planes and helicopters resumed their operations in the south-western towns of Marmaris and Koycegiz on Monday.

Resident Susan Dogan told the BBC she could see "smoke, flames and helicopters overhead" from her home in the village of Turunc, about 20km (12 miles) from Marmaris.

The British expatriate said many residents had already left and that she had packed bags in case she needed to evacuate.

Emergency rescue boats were on standby along the Marmaris shoreline to evacuate anyone should the fires spread and the town be cut off.

On Sunday the European Union said it would send water-carrying planes to help douse blazes tearing through forests in Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu thanked the EU for sending a plane from Croatia and two from Spain.

The government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been criticised for the shortage of firefighting aircraft in the country.

Visiting the town of Manavgat over the weekend, Mr Erdogan said his government would do whatever it takes to help those affected.

The militants are battling to take control of a provincial capital for the first time in years.

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Sky turns orange as Turkey's wildfires continue for 5th day

Global News 03 August, 2021 - 01:30am

MAZIKOY, Turkey (AP) — Wildfires raged near Turkey’s holiday beach destinations of Antalya and Mugla and in the surrounding countryside for a fifth day Sunday as the discovery of more bodies raised the death toll to eight while villagers lost their homes and animals. Residents and tourists fled the danger in small boats while the coast guard and two navy ships waited out at sea in case a bigger evacuation was needed.

Fires also enveloped Mugla province’s Mazikoy, and villagers who evacuated were devastated.

Farmer Nurten Almaz said she lost everything. “I feel so much pain, like I lost a child,” she said. The 63-year-old woman lost her animals and her home as well as “one century of people’s labor.” She called for the death penalty for people who may have caused the fire.

Residents had to flee nearby Cokertme village as flames neared. Some got on boats and others left by cars as the fire got closer and closer.

In one video, firetrucks and cars were rushing to escape fire raging on all sides. After nightfall, the village looked apocalyptic from a distance, with flames taking over the dark hills.

Bodrum mayor Ahmet Aras said Sunday evening that people experienced “hell” near Cokertme and Mazi as they drove away from the fire. He said the blaze could not be stopped and hoped to protect residential areas but said it was too late for the trees.

Ongoing forest fire in Cokertme of Bodrum in Turkey pic.twitter.com/YhpRmcECN7

— Mutlu Civiroglu (@mutludc) August 1, 2021

The area was engulfed by Sunday night, Turkish broadcasters said. Reporters said they had to get hurry to safety as the fire intensified with strong winds. Officials said precautions were being taken to protect two thermic power plants in the vicinity and at present the winds were blowing away from the plants.

Authorities warned tourists and residents to keep evacuating Turunc, a town in the seaside resort of Marmaris in Mugla province. Fires enveloped the area and strong winds made firefighting efforts more difficult. A helicopter attempted to extinguish the blazes, which were unreachable by land.

Aerial firefighting was not possible Sunday night and the fires raged, burning hectares (acres) of forests. Forestry official Mustafa Ozkaya said units continued to fight fires strategically, digging ditches and taking other measures. He said eight planes and 50 helicopters would fly in Mugla on Monday.

The European Commission announced it helped mobilized one firefighting Canadair plane from Croatia and two from Spain to aid Turkey. Planes from Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran have been helping.

Watching from out in the Mediterranean Sea, the area looked a bright orange.

As residents of villages around Marmaris pleaded for more help on social media, people boarded small boats carrying suitcases. Others waited anxiously to see if the fire would come down to the shore.

High temperatures and strong winds were making matters worse. Antalya registered 42 degrees Celsius (over 107 degrees Fahrenheit), about 5 to 6 degrees C higher than seasonal averages.

This is Bodrum. We’re living in hell, says the mayor: “It’s not possible to put down the fires from the ground, and it’s too late to use firefighter planes or helicopters. We’re trying to protect residential areas. But we can do nothing to save the trees pic.twitter.com/gCr4PXQ6Sr

— Selin Girit (@selingirit) August 1, 2021

Earlier Sunday, police water cannons, usually used to control riots, helped helicopters and fire trucks in Mugla’s popular district of Bodrum to fight fires. Turkish television showed fires had reignited after being extinguished earlier, with flame and smoke approaching a village.

Social media videos showed tourists in Bodrum scampering down streets rolling their luggage to escape the nearby flames.

The health minister, Fahrettin Koca, said at least 27 people affected by the fires were still receiving treatment in hospitals while hundreds of others had been released.

The minister of forestry and agriculture, Bekir Pakdemirli, said 117 wildfires were “under control” across Turkey while eight continued. His tweets showed that since Wednesday, wildfires had ignited in 32 provinces.

While Turkish authorities say they are investigating whether the fires may have started as “sabotage” by outlawed Kurdish militants, experts mostly point to climate change along with accidents caused by people. Erdogan said one of the fires was started by children.

A heat wave across southern Europe, fed by hot air from North Africa, has led to wildfires across the Mediterranean, including on the Italian island of Sicily and in western Greece, where some residents had to be evacuated by boat to escape the flames.

On Sunday afternoon, bathers on an Italian beach south of the Adriatic city of Pescara fled when they spotted towering clouds of smoke and flames from a fire in a nearby pine forest, the Italian news agency LaPresse reported. Several people were reportedly injured when they tried to put out wind-whipped flames that had reached their homes. Local officials told state TV that an elderly home in Pescara had to be evacuated.

Meanwhile, in Turkey’s eastern Van province, floods over the weekend destroyed at least six houses after a small river overflowed amid heavy rains. Villagers were ordered to leave their homes and climb to higher locations.

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EU to send 3 firefighting planes to Turkey for wildfires | Daily Sabah

Daily Sabah 03 August, 2021 - 01:30am

The European Commission will be sending three firefighting planes to help extinguish ongoing fires in Turkey, which have devastated the country’s southern coast, according to the commission’s emergency response coordinator.

Janez Lenarcic, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, in charge of European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid and the European Emergency Response Coordinator, said in a tweet that the EU stands in full solidarity with Turkey over the ongoing fires.

The stands in full solidarity with #Turkey at this difficult time.I thank & for responding with 3 Candairs from our #rescEU fleet.Our thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones and with the brave first responders who are battling the deadly #wildfires. pic.twitter.com/4lvjnbhE13

He thanked Croatia and Spain for sending three Canadair firefighting planes from the rescEU fleet.

Spain will be sending two planes, while Croatia will be sending one.

The European authorities are constantly in touch with Turkish authorities regarding the matter, the coordinator said.

"Our thoughts are with the Turkish people who have lost their loved ones and with the brave first responders who are doing their best to battle the deadly fires. We stand ready to provide further assistance."

The number of forest fires that have gripped the country since last week dropped to five from 107. Meanwhile, Turkey continues to suspect the fires may be linked to arson by the PKK terrorist group, whose affiliate threatened arson attacks Sunday.

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Wildfires Are Driving People Out Of Turkish Vacation Spots

CBS Miami 02 August, 2021 - 08:00pm

Turkey's skies are yellow with smokey haze from wildfires.

Thousands have fled coastal towns, both residents and tourists, to escape the flames that have been blazing on the country's southern coast for six days. In Mugla province, 10,000 people were evacuated, according to Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu. Some have escaped by car, others by boat.

The death toll has risen to eight.

The fires are part of over 100 blazes that broke out across more than 30 Turkish provinces, most of which have been contained or extinguished. Fed by strong winds and high temperatures, experts are pointing to climate change and human accidents as the culprits, although the causes of the fires remain under investigation. Southern Europe currently bakes in a heat wave that has also fed wildfires in Greece and Sicily.

Fighting the flames are locals and planes sent from the European Union, Russia, Ukraine, Croatia, Spain, Iran and Azerbaijan, their crews working in Antalya and Mugla provinces to fight nine fires, and more active fires in the Isparta, Denizli, Izmir and Adana provinces.

The flames have destroyed farms, homes and forests, and killed livestock. Satellite photos released by Turkey show a blackened coastline that stretches for miles.

"We are going through days when the heat is above 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), where the winds are strong and humidity is extremely low," Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said. "We are struggling under such difficult conditions."

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