ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Firefighters, aided by water-dropping planes and helicopters, were on Wednesday battling a wildfire that broke out in southwestern Turkey, officials and media reports said.
The fire erupted Tuesday evening in the Bordubet region, near the vacation resort of Marmaris on Turkey’s Aegean coast. It spread rapidly, fanned by strong winds, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Some 30 homes near the region were evacuated as a precaution, the private DHA news agency reported.
The cause of the blaze was under investigation.
“Due to the winds, the situation does not look good,” Mehmet Oktay, the mayor of Marmaris said in a video message late on Tuesday.
Anadolu said close to 1,600 personnel were involved in efforts to bring the fire under control, including teams brought in from neighboring provinces. A total of 20 helicopters and 14 planes were deployed, the agency reported.
Last summer, blazes that were fed by strong winds and scorching temperatures, tore through forests in Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean regions, including Marmaris. The wildfires, which killed at least eight people and countless animals, were described as the worst in Turkey’s history.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government came under criticism for its inadequate response and preparedness to fight large-scale wildfires, including a lack of modern firefighting planes.