Four people were killed and more than 180 injured people were hospitalized in southern Turkey after strong winds fanned two separate forest fires.
Fires erupting one after the other are usual in the “fire” season when temperatures are at their highest but the damage was unprecedented this time, with flames devastating entire villages.
Buildings including a hotel in the Aegean resort of Marmaris were evacuated due to the blaze, state broadcaster TRT Haber said. Footage showed two separate fires near residential areas in the Aegean summer hotspots of Bodrum, where another hotel was evacuated, and Didim.
Officials also launched an investigation into suspicions the fires that broke out Wednesday in four locations to the east of the tourist hotspot Antalya were the result of arson.
More than 4,000 Turkish firefighters had been dispatched across the region to help contain the damage and search for people needing help.
The Russian embassy said Moscow had sent three giant firefighting aircraft to dump fire retardants on the burning forests to contain the flames.
The fires were raging with temperatures approaching 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and wind gusts of 50 kilometres (30 miles) an hour.