Eight dead as forest fires sweep through Turkey, Greece and Italy – forcing evacuation of resorts and villages

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Eight dead as forest fires sweep through Turkey, Greece and Italy – forcing evacuation of resorts and villages


Forest fires continue to rage in Turkey, Greece and Italy, with entire villages and beaches being evacuated.

Coastal areas are among the hardest hit, with fires breaking out on a fifth day in some of Turkey’s Mediterranean resorts.

Residents and tourists were rescued by small boats over the weekend, as coastguards and navy ships waited further offshore in case a larger-scale evacuation was required.

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Forest fires have spread to Turkey and Greece

Allyson, who has lived in the Mediterranean resort town of Marmaris for 15 years, said of the fires: “Something is different because I’ve never seen it before.

“We’ve had small fires before but I’ve never seen this devastation.

“And it’s not just here – it’s everywhere. “

There are more than 120 fires in Turkey alone, with eight people dead and 27 others being treated in hospital.

Fires are common in southern Turkey during the hot summer, but experts have said this year’s fires are much larger than usual.

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There are more than 120 fires in Turkey, but authorities say around 100 are under control. Photo: AP

Authorities are investigating a possible arson, but scientists blame climate change, with temperatures five or six degrees above average for this time of year.

The current heat wave is fueled by warm air from North Africa and the southern coastal city of Antalya hit 42 ° C (107F) over the weekend and temperatures are expected to reach 47 ° C (116F) this week.

Helicopters are being used to fight the flames in some areas inaccessible by land, but in many places even aerial firefighting was impossible on Sunday evening.

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Huge fires rage in Greece

Forestry official Mustafa Ozkaya said workers were digging ditches in an attempt to slow the progress of the blaze, but eight planes and 50 helicopters would fly on Monday.

The combat air force includes contributions from Croatia, Spain, Ukraine, Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan.

Smoke rises during a forest fire near the village of Lampiri, west of Patras, Greece on Saturday, July 31, 2021. Photo: AP
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Greece has also faced fires, like this one near the village of Lampiri, west of Patras / Pic: AP
A burnt down house is seen in the village of Ziria, east of Patras, Greece, on Sunday August 1, 2021. Photo: AP
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Houses were destroyed in the village of Ziria, east of Patras in Greece. Photo: AP

Fires have also devastated parts of Greece and Italy.

In the Italian town of Pescara on the Adriatic coast, people fled from the beach when they saw smoke and flames rising from a nearby pine forest and several people were injured while trying to ‘put out the flames that had reached their homes.

On the Greek island of Rhodes, many residents were deprived of electricity and water as a fire threatened the Valley of the Butterflies, a military base and the village of Psinthos, all of which were evacuated.

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