Wildfire in south-west Turkey rages on, dashing hopes it was contained

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Firefighters battled a wildfire in southwestern Turkey to protest the blaze, which has spread to other parts of the world.

A landslide near the Marmarian Resort on the Aegean coast has sparked fears of a recurrence of a fire that destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of land last year.

Reuters images of smoke billowing from a hill and police water cannons assisting firefighters as they spread through a densely populated forest.

Helicopters and planes flooded the area all day Wednesday and officials said they would return on Thursday after a night of stopping.

The cause of the fire, which started at 8pm on Wednesday (1pm Singapore time), is unknown.

Minister of Forestry Vahit Krishna said on Wednesday that the fire had been contained but later re-ignited due to wind and hot weather.

As a precautionary measure, 150 people have been evacuated from 51 homes and 2,600 people are working to control the fire.

The Turkish Forest Authority said 27 helicopters and 14 helicopters would be deployed on Thursday to prevent the blaze.

Scientists say that man-made climate change is making the heat waves more likely and worse.

Last summer’s wildfires were mostly intense in Turkey near Marmaris, the European Union said last year.

Last year, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government was criticized for not being ready to fight the blaze. He said the wildfires were the worst in Turkish history.

The leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kilidaroglu, said on Wednesday that the government was “incompetent” and had not been ready for a fire since last year.

“The whole world knows the emotional impact of the Mediterranean Basin on this issue,” Mr Kilidaroglu said near Marmaris. “They blame the wind, not themselves,” he said.

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