At least three people died in a forest fire in southern Turkey, where authorities are still fighting to put down multiple blazes for the second consecutive day.
Efforts to bring the fire under control continue with official investigations into the cause, amid suspicions of arson.
Around 20 villages were evacuated, and 50 people were taken to the hospital.
Three lives were taken in Antalya and 1 in Mugla.
While the origin of the fires is still being investigated, the hot and dry conditions didn’t help.
The fires also led to mass deaths of livestock in rural areas while locals struggled to lead their herds to safety.
Mayor of Marmaris, Mehmet Oktay, said he couldn’t rule out ‘sabotage’.
Turkey’s Agriculture and Forestry Minister
Bekir Pakdemirli urged the public against relying on nonofficial information, emphasising that official investigations are underway.
“Judicial and law enforcement authorities continue their investigation into the cause of the fires. A statement will be made once important findings are uncovered.”
In some places, people fought the fires on their own, spraying water through hoses and buckets.
Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said ten people were stranded in the Oymapinar Dam in the province while some were evacuated.
“Ambulances and AFAD (the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority) teams are on the way for our citizens in Oymapinar Dam. The road is open. They will try to evacuate them,” he said, adding that they do not face a life-threatening situation.
Wildfires are common in Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean regions during the arid summer months, although some forest fires have been blamed on arson.
Temperatures were around 37 Celsius degrees (98 Fahrenheit degrees) in Manavgat, while similar levels and higher temperatures were reported in other areas hit by the fires.