Fri, 24 Sep 2021

ISTANBUL, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Turkey has been battling multiple wildfires that erupted in more than 20 provinces during the last two days, officials announced Friday.

Turkish Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said 57 of the 71 fires were brought under control.

"We are fighting the blazes with three aircraft, nine unmanned helicopters, one water supply tank, 38 helicopters, 680 water sprinklers, 55 construction equipment, and 4,000 personnel," Pakdemirli said.

The death toll has increased to four after a young person was killed in the blaze while helping firefighters voluntarily in the southwestern resort town of Marmaris.

Footage aired by local media showed extensive damage in the evacuated villages and forest areas of Marmaris, where the fire continues to advance to different quarters.

"Fire fighting is going at a high pace, but we have not been able to control it," Mehmet Oktay, mayor of Marmaris, told local media.

"Flames came with a humming sound, and blazes suddenly surrounded us," Dilek Ozcan, a resident of a small village of Marmaris, told Xinhua over the phone.

"We couldn't do anything but just ran away," Ozcan said.

A massive forest fire that broke out in the southern province of Antalya on Wednesday. The blaze has not yet been taken under control because of the hot weather and wind.

The fire that erupted in Bodrum, one of the popular tourist attractions in Turkey, forced the evacuation of several hotels, Bodrum's Mayor Ahmet Aras told Xinhua.

Cooling work is still on in the area where about 80 hectares of forest land were damaged, Aras said.

"Our municipality teams have also been taking care of wild animals and stray animals affected by the fire," he added.

Earlier, Pakdemirli said a large-scale investigation had been launched into the cause of the blazes.

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