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Holidaymakers rescued from beaches and hotels evacuated as Turkish wildfires continue for fifth day

Holidaymakers have been rescued by boats and hotels have been evacuated after wildfires that have so far claimed eight lives ravaged parts of Turkey for a fifth consecutive day.

Turkish officials have had to save summer sunseekers in the smoke-engulfed Mazi area in Mugla, Turkey, as residents boarded boats to flee the danger, coast guard ships waited in the sea in case a bigger evacuation was needed.

Panic-stricken tourists were evacuated Saturday from some hotels in Bodrum as a fire rolled down the hill toward the seashore. 

Police water cannons, usually used to control riots, assisted helicopters and fire trucks in a village of Mugla's popular district of Bodrum to fight fires.

Turkish television showed fires had reignited after being extinguished earlier, with blazes and smoke approaching a village.

Civilians were trying to help, hoping to protect homes and olive groves, but some houses were already damaged. Coast guard and private boats were helping some residents evacuate by sea.

Tourists and some residents were boarding boats with their suitcases as others waited anxiously to see if the fire would come down to the shore. 

Holidaymakers have been rescued by boats and hotels are evacuated after wildfires ravaged parts of Turkey for a fifth day

Tourists wait to be evacuated from smoke-engulfed Mazi area as wildfires rolled down the hill toward the seashore, in Bodrum, Mugla

Turkish television showed fires had reignited after being extinguished earlier, with blazes and smoke approaching a village. Above: A man walks down a road as wildfires rip through Sirtkoy village, near Manavgat

The death count from wildfires has now reached eight. Pictured: Smoke rises from burning woodland in the Marmaris district of Mugla, Turkey

Meanwhile, pictures showed dark plumes of smoke bellowing out of wooded areas in the rural holiday hotspot of Marmaris as strong winds made firefighting efforts more difficult.  

Fires were also encroaching on a village near the town of Manavgat, where helicopters were trying to extinguish blazes.  

The minister of forestry and agriculture, Bekir Pakdemirli, tweeted that 107 wildfires were 'under control' across Turkey. His list showed that, since Wednesday, wildfires had ignited in 32 provinces. 

The wildfire death toll rose to eight on Sunday. 

Dozens of villages were evacuated in tourist hotspots in southern Turkey on Sunday as wildfires raged for the fifth day, while Greece, Italy and Spain were also hit by blazes.

Fanned by soaring temperatures, strong winds and climate change - which experts say increases both the frequency and intensity of such blazes - this year's fire season has been significantly more destructive than the previous average, EU data shows.

Turkey is suffering through its worst fires in at least a decade with nearly 95,000 hectares (235,000 acres) burnt so far this year, compared with an average of 13,516 at this point in the year between 2008 and 2020.

Tourists are evacuated from smoke-engulfed Mazi area as wildfires rolled down the hill toward the seashore, in Bodrum, Turkey

Fires were also encroaching on a village near the town of Manavgat, where helicopters and fire fighters on the ground desperately try to extinguish blazes

Turkey is suffering through its worst fires in at least a decade with nearly 95,000 hectares (235,000 acres) burnt so far this year

While Turkish authorities say they are investigating whether the fires may have started as 'sabotage' by outlawed Kurdish militants, experts mostly point to the climate crisis, as seen by the drastic increases in temperatures along with accidents caused by people. Turkey's president said Saturday that one of the fires was started by children.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan toured some of the affected areas on Saturday and promised to help residents rebuild their homes. 

But social media users criticized him for arriving in Marmaris in a massive convoy that affected traffic and throwing bags of tea from the top of his bus to people gathered to hear him speak.

A heat wave across southern Europe, fed by hot air from North Africa, has led to wildfires across the Mediterranean, including on the Italian island of Sicily and in western Greece, where some residents had to be evacuated by boat to escape the flames.

Temperatures in Turkey and nearby countries in southeast Europe are expected to climb to 107F (42C) on Monday in many cities and towns across the south West. 

A heat wave across southern Europe, fed by hot air from North Africa, has led to wildfires across the Mediterranean, including on the Italian island of Sicily and in western Greece, where some residents had to be evacuated by boat to escape the flames

Temperatures in Turkey and nearby countries in southeast Europe are expected to climb to 107F (42C) on Monday. Pictured: Firefighters use water to douse flames in Sirtkoy village, near Antalya

A man is pictured walking as wildfires continue to rage on in the rural Marmaris district of Mugla on Sunday afternoon. Antalya was already registering temperatures of 106F (41C)

Meanwhile, other Mediterranean tourist hotspots are also facing unprecedented summer season of wildfires. Above: Local residents walk in the burnt area of an abandonned Club Mediterranee in Lambiri, Greece

Antalya was already registering 106F (41C) on Sunday. 

Firefighters were also battling fires in Greece, after a major blaze broke out early Saturday near Patras in the west.

Five villages have been evacuated and eight people hospitalised with burns and respiratory problems in the region, which remains on alert.

Around 20 homes have been burnt down, according to a provisional figure from the fire brigade.

A helicopter desperately pours water over the fire-devastating Sirtkoy village, near Manavgat, Antalya, Turkey on Sunday

Firefighters and volunteers battle to extinguish a section of wildfire near Marmaris, Turkey as the country's death roll rose to eight on Sunday

The remnants of a burned house following a devastating forest fire in the area of Zeria, Achaia in Greece

The mayor of nearby village Aigialeias, Dimitris Kalogeropoulos, called it 'an immense catastrophe'.

Around 30 houses, barns and stables were consumed by flames in the villages of Ziria, Kamares, Achaias and Labiri.

'We slept outside overnight, terrified that we would not have a house when we woke up,' a Labiri resident told Greek TV station Skai.

The seaside resort of Loggos was also evacuated, with nearly 100 residents and tourists sent to the nearby city of Aigio.

According to EU data, 13,500 hectares had been burnt in Greece, compared with an average of 7,500 at this point in the year from 2008-2020.

A passenger jet drops water over the fire-devastated towns and villages of south western Turkey as wildfires continue for a fifth day

Local residents watch as a Greek army Chinook helicopter and a Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane helicopter collect water as firefighters continue to tackle a wildfire near the village of Lambiri, Greece

In other parts of the Mediterranean, Italy was rocked by fires after more than 20,000 hectares of forest, olive groves and crops were destroyed by a blaze in Sardinia last weekend

In other parts of the Mediterranean, Italy was rocked by fires after more than 20,000 hectares of forest, olive groves and crops were destroyed by a blaze in Sardinia last weekend.

More than 800 flare-ups were recorded this weekend, mainly in the south, Italy's fire brigade said.

'In the last 24 hours, firefighters have carried out more than 800 interventions: 250 in Sicily, 130 in Puglia and Calabria, 90 in Lazio and 70 in Campania,' the brigade tweeted.

It added that firefighters were still working against blazes in the Sicilian cities of Catania, Palermo and Syracuse.

While the south of Italy has been burning, the north has suffered wild storms.

'The cost of the damage caused throughout the northern Italian countryside by the violent storms and hail during this crazy summer amounts to tens of millions of euros,' the Coldiretti agricultural organisation said.

In Spain, dozens of firefighters backed by water-dropping aircraft were battling a wildfire that broke out Saturday afternoon near the San Juan reservoir, about 70 kilometres (40 miles) east of Madrid.

Firefighters said Sunday they had managed to stabilise the blaze overnight but local authorities urged people to stay away from the reservoir, a popular bathing spot for residents of the Spanish capital.

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