Massive forest fires in southern Turkey kill 8

The number of people who have lost their lives due to massive forest fires in southern Turkey has risen to eight, the country’s agriculture and forestry minister announced Sunday.

After examining the affected areas of Mugla from a helicopter, Bekir Pakdemirli said they have completed 75% of the damage assessment work in the province and that four planes and 17 helicopters are still busy with dowsing efforts.

Pakdemirli said on Twitter that 119 of 126 fires across 32 cities that erupted since Wednesday are under control.

A total of 16 aircraft, nine drones, 45 helicopters, six management helicopters, one unmanned helicopter, 708 water tankers and water sprinklers and 120 construction machines have been used to put out the wildfires, the minister said, adding some 4,800 personnel are active in the region.

Earlier, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter that 497 of the 507 people affected by the fire in Manavgat district of Antalya have been discharged from hospitals.

Similarly, he added, 186 of the 203 people struck by wildfires in Mugla's Marmaris and Bodrum districts have also been treated.

Turkish authorities are maintaining their tireless efforts to put out the forest fires through both aerial and ground operations. Firefighters, including a group of 100 Azerbaijani firemen, along with locals are at work./aa