Tourists, villagers flee by boat as wildfires ravage Turkish resorts

Turkish authorities say they are investigating whether the fires may have started as “sabotage” by outlawed Kurdish militants.

Tourists, villagers flee by boat as wildfires ravage Turkish resorts

Wildfires raged near Turkey’s holiday beach destinations of Antalya and Mugla and in the surrounding countryside for a fifth day Sunday as the discovery of more bodies raised the death toll to eight, while villagers lost their homes and animals.

Residents and tourists fled the danger in small boats while the coast guard and two navy ships waited out at sea in case a bigger evacuation was needed.

Fires also enveloped Mugla province’s Mazikoy, and villagers who evacuated were devastated.


Five fires are continuing their path of destruction in the tourist destinations of Antalya and Mugla. (AP Photo/Emre Tazegul)

Farmer Nurten Almaz said she lost everything.

“I feel so much pain, like I lost a child,” she said.

The 63-year-old woman lost her animals and her home as well as “one century of people’s labour.” She called for the death penalty for people who may have caused the fire.

Residents had to flee nearby Cokertme village as flames neared. Some got on boats and others left by cars as the fire got closer and closer. In one video, firetrucks and cars were rushing to escape fire raging on all sides. After nightfall, the village looked apocalyptic from a distance, with flames taking over the dark hills.

More than 100 wildfires have been brought under control in Turkey, according to officials but high temperatures are complicating the fight against five fires. (Photo by Mahmut Serdar Alakus/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The area was engulfed by Sunday night, Turkish broadcasters said.

Reporters said they had to get hurry to safety as the fire intensified with strong winds. They said many houses burned and warned of a threat to two thermic power plants in the vicinity.

Villagers water trees to stop the wildfires that continue to rage the forests in Manavgat, Antalya, Turkey, early Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021.  (AP Photo)

Authorities warned tourists and residents to keep evacuating Turunc, a town in the seaside resort of Marmaris in Mugla province. Fires enveloped the area and strong winds made firefighting efforts more difficult.

A helicopter attempted to extinguish the blazes, which were unreachable by land.

Firefighters work as the wildfires engulf an area near the seashore, forcing people to be evacuated by boats, in Bodrum, Mugla, Turkey, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021.  (Ismail Coskun/IHA via AP)

Watching from out in the Mediterranean Sea, the area looked a bright orange.

As residents of villages around Marmaris pleaded for more help on social media, people boarded small boats carrying suitcases. Others waited anxiously to see if the fire would come down to the shore.

High temperatures and strong winds were making matters worse. Antalya registered 42C, about 5 to 6C higher than seasonal averages.

A man runs, in the fire-devastating Sirtkoy village, near Manavgat, Antalya, Turkey, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021. (AP Photo)

Earlier Sunday, police water cannons, usually used to control riots, helped helicopters and fire trucks in Mugla’s popular district of Bodrum to fight fires.

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

Social media videos showed tourists in Bodrum scampering down streets rolling their luggage to escape the nearby flames.

Bodrum mayor Ahmet Aras said Sunday evening that people experienced “hell” near Cokertme and Mazi as they drove away from the fire. He said the blaze could not be stopped and hoped to protect residential areas but said it was too late for the trees.

Mehmet Cavdar, 45, looked onto a smoke surrounded neighbourhood of Mazikoy from a distance, describing how the fire had sped through the area.

The health minister, Fahrettin Koca, said at least 27 people affected by the fires were still receiving treatment in hospitals while hundreds of others had been released.

A man applies eye drop to a fire-affected man. Turkish authorities maintain their tireless efforts to contain forest fires that erupted in various parts of the country. (Photo by Mahmut Serdar Alakus/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The minister of forestry and agriculture, Bekir Pakdemirli, said 117 wildfires were “under control” across Turkey while eight continued. His tweets showed that since Wednesday, wildfires had ignited in 33 provinces.

Responding to criticism of inadequate air support, the minister said Turkey had dispatched four planes, 17 helicopters, 93 firetrucks and nearly 1,500 people to fight the fires in Mugla, where he announced six villages were evacuated.

He added that 12 other airplanes, dozens of helicopters and drones were working across Turkey’s wildfires.

Firefighters have worked to battle the blazes for a fifth day.

While Turkish authorities say they are investigating whether the fires may have started as “sabotage” by outlawed Kurdish militants, experts mostly point to climate change along with accidents caused by people. Mr Erdogan said one of the fires was started by children.

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.

On Sunday afternoon, bathers on an Italian beach south of the Adriatic city of Pescara fled when they spotted towering clouds of smoke and flames from a fire in a nearby pine forest, the Italian news agency LaPresse reported.

Several people were reportedly injured when they tried to put out wind-whipped flames that had reached their homes. Local officials told state TV that an elderly home in Pescara had to be evacuated.

Meanwhile, in Turkey’s eastern Van province, floods over the weekend destroyed at least six houses after a small river overflowed amid heavy rains. Villagers were ordered to leave their homes and climb to higher locations.

Source : 9 News More   

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$10k rebates now available for farmers battling mouse plague

A $10,000 rebate is available for farmers to bait for mice as spring approaches, along with a feared resurgence of a rodent plague in New South Wales.

$10k rebates now available for farmers battling mouse plague

A $10,000 rebate is available for farmers to bait for mice as spring approaches, ahead of a feared resurgence of the rodent plague in New South Wales.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said the funds were now available for use.

The rebates are meant to cover up to 50 percent of the costs of zinc phosphide baits.


"We have made $100 million available for zinc phosphide rebates so that farmers are armed and ready if mice numbers begin to increase as we get closer to spring," Mr Barilaro said.

"This is just one part of the NSW Government's $150 million mice support package which includes household and small business rebates and biocontrol research, reinforcing our commitment to support primary producers and regional communities."

Mr Marshall said zinc phosphide was the best tool available for managing the plague.

"I urge farmers to start monitoring mice numbers on their farms right now and start planning how they will manage the impacts as the population increases as we approach harvest," he said.


NSW Farmers Association vice president Xavier Martin encouraged farmers to apply now.

Claims can be made retrospectively for baits purchased as early as February 1 this year.

"This is an opportunity to prepare for spring when mice populations are predicted to swell," Mr Martin said.

He said the "ongoing" plague would require flexibility in support from the government.

The NSW Government had previously applied to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority for permission to use bromadiolone against the mice.


Mr Marshall said the use of the poison would be like "napalm".

However, in June, the APVMA rejected the application, citing environmental safety concerns.

Experts had raised concerns about the danger the chemical posed to native wildlife, as anything that ate a poisoned mouse stood a high risk of secondary poisoning.

The mouse plague is estimated to have caused more than $1 billion in damage to crops.

Eligible farmers can find out more about how to secure their rebate on the Rural Assistance Authority web page.

Source : 9 News More   

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