Turkey: The fire in Marmaris burns for a third day

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Firefighters continue to try to cut down forest fire in the southwest Turkeywhich is still raging for the third day in a row, as the winds intensify and spread the flames despite the efforts on the ground and from the air.

Scenes of burning forest near the tourist resort of Marmaris spark fears that the country will relive last year’s devastating wildfires, which charred 1,400,000 acres across the Mediterranean.

Smoke rises from the hills as the flames spread to a sparsely populated forest area. Aircraft and helicopters have resumed water drops.

Police are involved in the firefighting operation that broke out around 20:00 on Tuesday and has swept over 34,000 acres.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Thursday that a man had been arrested who confessed to setting fire to the forest due to a quarrel with members of his family.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca also said yesterday that 29 people had suffered injuries, burns or respiratory problems due to the fire and two were still in hospital.

A total of 274 people had to be evacuated as a precaution, according to Turkish authorities.

Anthropogenic climate change makes heat waves more likely and more serious, scientists warn.

Forest fires in Turkey last summer, most of which also broke out near Marmaris, were the deadliest the country has ever faced, the EU’s climate watchdog said last year, adding that the Mediterranean has turned into a “hot spot” of forest fires.

The government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has come under fire for failing to prepare for last year’s fires. He countered that they were the worst in the history of Turkey.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition in Turkey, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), said on Wednesday that the government was “incompetent” and had not made any preparations for the fires since last year.

source: ΑΠΕ

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