Wildfire in south-west Turkey spreads to hotel

Guests and nearby residents evacuated from Icmeler resort area, close to Aegean port city of Marmaris

Smoke rises from a wildfire in Kargi Bay at Datca in Mugla province, earlier in July. Reuters
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A wildfire that broke out Friday in a resort area in south-western Turkey spread to a hotel that also serves as a tourism training school, officials said.

No injuries were reported, and the blaze later was brought under control.

The blaze started in the Icmeler resort area, close to the Aegean Sea port city of Marmaris, in Mugla province.

Everyone at the hotel and surrounding structures was evacuated, Marmaris mayor Mehmet Oktay told TV station Haberturk.

Footage showed one side of the hotel in flames. A villa and several vehicles in Icmeler also were damaged.

Volunteers attempt to extinguish a wildfire in the Datca district of Mugla, south-west Turkey, earlier in July. AFP

Prosecutors have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire, the TV station reported.

At least seven firefighting helicopters and five firefighting aircraft were involved in trying to put out the blaze, the Mugla governor’s office said.

The Turkish Coast Guard Command closed an area of the sea to maritime traffic to allow the helicopters to safely refill, it said.

Last summer, fires fed by strong winds and scorching temperatures tore through forests in Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean regions, including Marmaris.

The wildfires killed at least eight people and many animals, and were described as the worst in Turkey’s history.

The government came under criticism for not having preparations in place for fighting large-scale wildfires, including a lack of modern firefighting aircraft.

Updated: July 29, 2022, 5:59 PM