Turkey: Three dead in fires as authorities investigate causes of fires – including possible sabotage

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Turkey: Three dead in fires as authorities investigate causes of fires – including possible sabotage


Three people have died as a result of forest fires in southern Turkey, with officials investigating the causes of nearly 60 fires.

A 15-year-old also died in the flames at Lebanon, which spread north into Syria.

According to Turkish Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli, a total of 53 forest fires were recorded on Wednesday and Thursday in the Mediterranean and southern Aegean regions.

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A fire near the town of Manavgat, east of the resort town of Antalya

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The Lebanese army has helped fight the fires in the region. Photo: Associated press

He said most of them had now been brought under control.

An 82-year-old man was among three people who died in Antalya after flames ravaged Akseki district, 30 miles north of Manavgat, the Turkeythe south coast of, facing Cyprus.

About 20 villages and neighborhoods were evacuated and 50 people were taken to hospital.

16 other sites in Turkey have experienced fires, including vacation destinations such as Guvercinlik and the Icmeler region.

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Fire truck burned down in Turkey

Volunteers treat a cat injured in a forest fire near the town of Manavgat, east of the resort town of Antalya, Turkey, July 29, 2021. REUTERS / Kaan Soyturk
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A cat is treated following the fires

While the origin of the fires is being investigated, the hot, dry conditions in the region will not have improved the situation.

Mehmet Oktay, the mayor of Marmaris, said he could not rule out “sabotage”.

Fahrettin Altun, from the office of the Turkish president, said: “Thorough investigations have been… launched into the cause of the fires.

“Those responsible will be held accountable for attacks on nature and forests. “

In order to fight the fires, three planes, 38 helicopters and 4,000 firefighters were deployed.

(Suat Metin / IHA via AP) An aerial photo shows destroyed houses in a village as forest fires continue to rage in the forests near the Mediterranean coastal town of Manavgat, Antalya, Turkey on Thursday, July 29, 2021. Authorities evacuated homes in southern Turkey as a forest fire fueled by high winds raged in a forest area near the Mediterranean coastal town of Manavgat.  District governor Mustafa Yigit said he resided
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Trees and houses were destroyed in the fires. IHA Photo via Associated Press
A man sprays a water cannon to put out a forest fire, in the village of Qobayat, in the northern province of Akkar, Lebanon, Thursday, July 29, 2021. Lebanese firefighters fight for the second day to contain the forest fires in the north of the country which has spread across the Syrian border, civil defense officials from both countries said Thursday.  (AP Photo / Hussein Malla)
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At least 25 fire trucks have been deployed to Lebanon. Photo: Associated press

In Lebanon, at least 25 fire trucks, supported by four helicopters from the Air Force and military units, battled the flames.

Vast swathes of the country’s forests have burned down, with the Lebanese Red Cross saying it evacuated 17 people and treated more than 30, including eight hospitalized.

A forest fire burns near the town of Manavgat, east of the resort town of Antalya, Turkey on July 29, 2021. REUTERS / Kaan Soyturk

“There is a lot of damage. Lots of losses, ”said Omar Massoud, the mayor of the village of Andaqt.

He estimated that around 500 acres of pine and oak forests had been destroyed.

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A forest fire rages in Turkey

“As you can see, the weather and the wind… even with the Lebanese army helicopters, they are not able to control the fire,” he told The Associated Press.

The state-owned national news agency said the fires had spread four miles and a width of 1.2 miles, and tens of thousands of pine trees had gone up in smoke.

The country had previously battled devastating forest fires in 2019, with government mismanagement of the issue being one of the reasons fueling protests across the country.

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This year’s fires started on Wednesday and have since spread to the Homs region of Syria.

Syrian Civil Defense Chief Gen. Saied al-Awad said gusty winds, high temperatures and rugged terrain were complicating efforts to tackle the flames.

Lebanon asked for help from Cyprus, which earlier this month suffered its worst fires in decades.

The Mediterranean isn’t the only part of the world fighting fires this summer in the northern hemisphere.

Siberia is fighting fires in its forests, amplified by a dry climate.

A resident walks through the remains of a burnt down house in an area burned by a forest fire near the town of Manavgat, east of the resort town of Antalya, Turkey, July 29, 2021. REUTERS / Kaan Soyturk
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A resident examines the damage caused by the fires

City in Canada destroyed after wildfire swept away in a few hours.

And the west coast of the United States looks set for another scorching fire season, with wild fires engulfing parts of California and Oregon.

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