“The animals are on fire,” 56-year-old resident Muzeyyan Kacar told CNN. “Everything will burn. Our land, our animals and our home. What else do we have anyway?
At least six people have died in dozens of fires that started earlier this week, amid scorching summer temperatures and fires that experts say have been made worse by climate change.
Among the victims are two firefighters who were killed fighting the flames on Saturday, according to the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Since Wednesday, 88 fires have broken out across the country, the ministry said. Ten fires were still burning on Saturday, he added.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared parts of five provinces of Turkey’s Mediterranean coast “disaster areas” following a helicopter visit to the devastated areas.
“We will continue to take all measures to heal the wounds of our people, compensate for losses and improve opportunities for better than before,” the president added in a tweet on Saturday.
The biggest fire, in Manavgat, in Antalya province, killed at least three people, according to the Turkish Directorate of Natural Disasters and Emergencies (AFAD).
In the nearby village of Kacarlar, locals find it difficult to see the houses they have built by hand burn to the ground.
“My father’s house burned down,” said Gulay Kacar, 48. “Gone, gone, let’s go,” said Kacar, adding that she “was running to release the animals.”
Namet Atik, a 37-year-old farmer from a nearby village, said he had come to Kacarlar to help. “Whatever this village needs … we are there for them,” he told CNN.
“We bring them water, our cars, tractors, saws,” he added. “We are forest villagers. Our livelihood is the forest. If this fire breaks out, there is no turning back. “
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