Majority of Turkey wildfires under control, official says

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Turkey Wildfire (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Turkey Wildfire (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

More than 100 wildfires have been brought under control in Turkey according to officials Sunday.

The Minister of Forestry and Agriculture Bekir Pakdemirli, tweeted that five fires were continuing in the tourist destinations of Antalya and Mugla, while 107 fires were “under control.”

The fires in Antalya were continuing in Manavgat and Gundogmus districts. In Mugla, they continued in the tourist destination of Marmaris as well as Koycegiz and Milas.

Police water cannons, usually used to control riots, assisted helicopters and fire trucks in Mugla to fight a fire. Blazes were still visible in footage taken early Sunday.

Panic-struck tourists were evacuated Saturday from some hotels in Mugla’s popular district of Bodrum as a fire rolled down the hill towards the seashore. Pakdemirli said the fires in Bodrum have been controlled.

Pakdemirli’s list showed fires began in 32 provinces from Wednesday onward. Six people have died.

While Turkish authorities are investigating whether the fires may have started as an act of “sabotage” by outlawed Kurdish militants, experts mostly point to the climate crisis, as seen by the drastic increases in temperatures along with accidents caused by people.

A heat wave across southern Europe, fed by hot air from Africa, has led to wildfires across the Mediterranean, including in Italy and Greece.

Temperatures in Greece and nearby countries in southeast Europe are expected to climb to 42 degrees Celsius (more than 107 Fahrenheit) Monday in many cities and towns.

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