Massive wildfire erupts in Turkey

A massive wildfire erupted in four different locations in Turkey’s southern province of Antalya, a popular destination for foreign tourists, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli said.

“Unfortunately, wind conditions, low humidity and other factors are helping the fire spread. There are all kinds of reasons for fuelling the fire right now,” the Minister told reporters in Antalya’s Manavgat district on Wednesday.

Winds of up to 50 km an hour were fanning the flames and the smoke affected 53 people, Pakdemirli said, adding that an investigation has been launched to find out the cause of the blaze, reports Xinhua news agency.

TV footage showed fire fighters are dumping water from helicopters on the burning buildings, but the flames have not been under control yet.

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes as the forest fire is fanned by strong winds.

The flames reached residential areas, but there was nothing to worry about in tourism areas, Manavgat Mayor Sukru Sozen said.

“We are experiencing an unprecedented fire. There is no casualty at the moment, but we do not have clear information,” said Manavgat District Governor Mustafa Yigit, noting that isolated people from the villages are possibly injured.