At least four dead and scores injured as firefighters, planes and helicopters try to douse multiple blazes amid suspicions of arson.

Animals are seen amid smoke after a fire broke out in a forest in Manavgat district and reached Dolbazlar neighbourhood in southern Antalya province on July 29, 2021.
Animals are seen amid smoke after a fire broke out in a forest in Manavgat district and reached Dolbazlar neighbourhood in southern Antalya province on July 29, 2021. (AA)

Scorching heat and strong winds have fanned forest fires in southern Turkey, killing at least four people and injuring scores as firefighters battled blazes at several areas.  

Three people were reported dead on Thursday and more than 100 injured as firefighters fought blazes engulfing a Mediterranean resort region on southern coast.

Officials also launched an investigation into suspicions that the fires that broke out Wednesday in four locations to the east of the tourist hotspot Antalya were the result of arson.

Turkey's disaster and emergencies office said three people were killed –– including an 82-year-old who lived alone –– and 122 injured by the fires.

With the latest announcement, the number of people who died during fires in Antalya has risen to four.

The fires affected a sparsely populated region about 75 kilometres east of Antalya –– a resort especially popular with Russian and other eastern European tourists.

The inferno broke out with temperatures approaching 40 degrees Celsius and wind gusts of 50 kilometres an hour.

Antalya mayor Muhittin Bocek said he suspected foul play because the fires started in four locations at once.

"This suggests an arson attack, but we do not have clear information about that at this stage," Bocek said on Wednesday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said an investigation had already been launched.

Planes, helicopters engaged in mission

Turkey is battling wildfires which have broken out in 41 different areas, with 31 of them successfully brought under control so far, officials said on Thursday. 

The forest fires erupted over the last few days in the southern provinces of Mersin, Osmaniye, Adana, Antalya, Kahramanmaras.

The blazes also burst out in the southwestern province of Mugla and central provinces of Kirikkale and Kayseri.

The county's efforts to bring 10 ongoing fires under control are continuing as 1,832 personnel, three planes, 29 helicopters, and 458 water tenders are engaged in the mission, officials said. 

Blazes in Adana, Mersin provinces

Officials said 10 people stranded in Oymapinar Dam in Antalya province were evacuated.

Along with Antalya, Adana and Mersin, firefighters are also working to bring fires under control in other provinces.

In Mersin, people living in areas near fires were evacuated on Wednesday.

Firefighters are battling fires in the two districts of the province.

They are also working in the Kozan district of Adana province where a fire broke out in a forested land in the Kizlarsekisi area.

Turkey's southern Mediterranean coast is known for its scorching summer heat. Officials have said the latest fires are the biggest to date.

Turkey has battled a series of disasters caused by extreme weather conditions this summer, including flash floods last week that killed six people in the Black Sea region.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies