Watch: Raging forest fires sweep through several parts of Turkey

For the past three days, several parts of Turkey has been engulfed in raging flames, not just destroying forest covers but also destroying people’s homes and leaving animals in danger as well. As fires continue, social media is flooded with heartbreaking videos capturing the calamity.

The forest fires first started on Wednesday in the southern provinces of Mersin, Osmaniye, Adana, Antalya, and Kahramanmaraş. Blazes also broke out in the southwestern province of Muğla and central provinces of Kırıkkale and Kayseri, Daily Sabah reported. Of the 98 fires that have broken out in numerous provinces since Wednesday, 88 are under control, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli said.

Earlier Pakdemirli said that 4,000 personnel, six planes, nine unmanned aerial vehicles, one unmanned helicopter, 45 helicopters, 55 heavy duty vehicles, and 1,080 water tenders are together making efforts to tame the flames. While in some places, people could be evacuated in time, six people have lost their lives so far in the fires that also caused material and environmental damage in southern regions, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency added.

Videos showed fires particularly serious on the Turkish Mediterranean coast, where strong winds hindered efforts of emergency forces battling against time to control it. With hashtag #PrayforTurkey and #TurkeyisBurning, netizens in and outside the country have been trying to draw attention to the severity of the situation.

However, as firefighters race to control the flames, there have been many claims about ‘sabotage’ as well. Authorities on Thursday launched investigations into the fires. Fahrettin Altun, a top aide to President Erdogan, said “those responsible will have to account for the attacks against nature and forests”.

Wildfires are common in Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean regions during the arid summer months, though some previous forest fires have been blamed on arson or outlawed Kurdish militants, AP explained.

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