ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish authorities on Thursday began investigating the cause of a string of forest fires in Turkey’s Mediterranean and southern Aegean regions, including two near the coastal resort town of Manavgat that killed three people and sent over 50 others to the hospital as homes burned down.
A wildfire that broke out Wednesday in Manavgat, in Antalya province, and was fanned by strong winds and scorching temperatures, was largely contained, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said. But another fire that started overnight and swept through the district of Akseki, 50 kilometers (30 miles) north, kept firefighters engaged.
Three people were killed in those fires, and authorities evacuated nearly 20 neighborhoods or villages.
The Antalya region is a popular vacation destination for tourists from Russia and other parts of Europe.
Fires also broke out Thursday in 16 other locations, including in the Icmeler region, close to the resort of Marmaris, 320 kilometers (200 miles) west of Antalya, that briefly threatened holiday homes and hotels. A hotel in the Aegean beach resort of Guvercinlik, near the town of Bodrum, was also evacuated, Pakdemirli said.