Huge fire rips through a Mediterranean tourist spot, killing 8

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Wildfires continued to surge through southern Turkey Monday, killing 8 people and burning popular coastal resorts, BBC reported.

The wildfires, which started on Wednesday, have caused tourists and locals to evacuate from Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean coasts, according to the BBC. Almost 250,000 acres have been burned and firefighters resumed their operations in Marmaris and Koycegiz on Monday, according to the BBC.

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Susan Dogan, a local resident of Turunc, told the BBC she saw “smoke, flames and helicopters overhead.”

There have been over 10,000 people evacuated in the Mugla Province in Turkey, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told the Associated Press Monday.

Over 130 fires have been contained in Turkey and blazes continue to surge in Greece, Spain and Italy, according to the BBC. The fires have been fueled by high winds and a sustained heat wave across southern Europe.

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“We are going through days when the heat is above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), where the winds are strong and humidity is extremely low,” Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemiril told the AP. “We are struggling under such difficult conditions,” he added.

The EU has offered to supply firefighters from Croatia and Spain to assist Turkey, as well as water carrying planes, according to the AP.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly refused the assistance, slowing firefighting efforts, the AP reported. Pakdemiril says he only refused planes that carried less than five tons of water and has been accused of being underprepared for the fires and failing to purchase firefighting planes, according to the AP.

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Photos Show Devastation Of Fire Ripping Through Mediterranean Tourist Towns

Harry Wilmerding on August 2, 2021