Wildfire in southwest Turkey enters third day

Firefighters try to control ground and air fire in southwestern Turkey for a third day. Landslides near the Aegean Beach Resort Marmaris have raised fears of a wildfire that covered 140,000 hectares (345,950 hectares) last year.

Reuters footage showed the blaze spreading through the woods in a sparsely populated area, with helicopters and planes hovering over the fire all day long. Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Tuesday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck.

Interior Minister Suleiman Soyulu has admitted that a man has been arrested and set fire to the forest in a family affair. Health Minister Fahretin Coca said on Thursday that 29 people had been injured in the blaze and that two were still being treated in hospital.

As a precautionary measure, 274 people were evicted from their homes, officials said. 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, especially due to a shortage of planes and helicopters. 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.

(This story has not been edited by Davdiscor staff and is created from an automated feed.)

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