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Crews still tacking seven fires in Turkey, EU will help

Christian Fernsby |
Turkey battles wildfires for 6th day, EU to send planeshrough forests near Turkey’s beach destinations for the sixth day running on Monday, as water-carrying planes from the European Union prepared to join the containment efforts.

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The fires burning in parched conditions and strong winds since Wednesday have left eight people dead and forced residents and tourists to flee vacation resorts in boats. Many villagers lost homes and farm animals while a thick yellow haze hung in the air in the affected regions.

Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said late Sunday that 119 fires that broke out in 32 provinces since Wednesday have been extinguished. Crews were still tacking seven fires in the coastal provinces of Antalya and Mugla that are popular tourist areas, and in Tunceli, southeast Turkey.

A fire in Mazikoy, in Mugla, reignited in strong winds on Monday, several hours after fire crews had made gains in containing the blaze, Haberturk broadcaster reported.

The European Commission will be sending three firefighting planes to help extinguish ongoing fires in Turkey, which have devastated the country’s southern coast, according to the commission’s emergency response coordinator.

Janez Lenarcic, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, in charge of European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid and the European Emergency Response Coordinator, said in a tweet that the EU stands in full solidarity with Turkey over the ongoing fires.

He thanked Croatia and Spain for sending three Canadair firefighting planes from the rescEU fleet.

Spain will be sending two planes, while Croatia will be sending one.

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