Forest fires rage near Turkish resorts, killing four

By: AFP      Published: 10:37 AM, 30 Jul, 2021
Forest fires rage near Turkish resorts, killing four
A combo of pictures shows extend of forest fires in Turkey.

Four people were reported dead Thursday and more than 180 injured as thousands of firefighters battled huge blazes spreading across the Mediterranean resort regions of Turkey's southern coast.

Officials also launched an investigation into suspicions the fires that broke out Wednesday in four locations to the east of the tourist hotspot Antalya were the result of arson.

Turkey's disaster and emergencies office said three people were killed -- including an 82-year-old who lived alone.

The NTV channel later said a 25-year-old man died in Marmaris while trying to bring aid.

The fires first emerged across a sparsely populated region about 75 kilometres (45 miles) east of Antalya -- a resort especially popular with Russian and other eastern European tourists.

But they were creeping closer Thursday to sandy beaches dotted with hotels and resorts.

Images on social media and Turkish TV showed residents jumping out of their cars and running for their lives through smoke-filled streets lit up by orange flames.

The heavy clouds of smoke turned the sky dark orange over a beachfront hotel complex in the town of Manavgat.

At least 183 people were hospitalised.