Turkey: Qatari, Azerbaijani aircraft join wildfire fight | WWTI

Ankara, Turkey (AP) – Flights from Azerbaijan and Qatar joined forces on Friday to fight a fourth day of wildfires near a popular resort in southwestern Turkey.

Turkey’s forest protection minister said the fire was likely to be contained but that the storm was still dangerous.

The blaze, which broke out on Tuesday near Bordeaux on the Aegean coast, spread rapidly, with pine forests blackening and hundreds evicting people from their homes.

At least 29 people were injured and 12 were taken to hospitals for treatment, Health Minister Fahretin Coca said on his Twitter account. He said two people were in the hospital.

The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Vahit Kirichchi, told reporters that the storm was still a threat.

Interior Minister Suleiman Soyilu said the 34-year-old was arrested last Thursday in a dispute with family members.

More than 2,500 firefighters and 41 helicopters and helicopters were deployed to contain the blaze. A plane from Azerbaijan and three helicopters from Qatar joined forces on Friday.

As a precautionary measure, more than 400 people have been displaced, according to the Turkish Disaster Management Agency (AFAD). About 3,000 hectares (about 7,400 acres) of forest have been damaged, says Kirischi.

Prolonged drought in several Mediterranean countries, last week’s heat wave in northern Germany, and high fuel costs have raised concerns in Europe this summer.

Last summer, fires broke out in Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean regions, including Marmarinis, with strong winds and scorching heat. The wildfire, which killed at least eight people and countless animals, is said to be the worst in Turkish history.

The government has been criticized for its poor response and readiness to fight large-scale wildfires, including the shortage of modern firefighting aircraft.

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