Trapped tourists are being evacuated from holiday beaches by private boats and yachts as Turkey’s wildfires rage

People in the water looking at a hill with smoke rising
A helicopter responds to the forest fire that broke out in Marmaris district in Mugla, Turkey on July 31, 2021. Mahmut Serdar Alakus/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
  • Turkey is battling raging wildfires that are destroying homes and forcing people to flee.
  • Tourists were evacuated from hotels and rescued by boats at the Mediterranean resorts.
  • These included private boats and yachts that helped the effort.
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Tourists in Turkey are being evacuated from beaches due to raging wildfires amid a severe heatwave with temperatures rising above 40C.

Around 100 fires broke out this week across southern and western Turkey, Reuters reported, and at least six people, including two firefighters, have died.

Thousands of residents have been evacuated from their homes, and tourists were ordered to evacuate hotels. They gathered on beaches of their resorts where they were picked up by boats, including private vessels, The Guardian reported.

Coastguard vessels picking up tourists were joined by boats and yachts in the rescue effort, according to The Guardian, which cited Turkish media.

Authorities had asked people with their own boats for help, the Press Association reported.

Videos show fires near tourist resorts:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that the government would step in to help people and businesses.

“We cannot do anything beyond wishing the mercy of God for the lives we have lost but we can replace everything that was burned,” he said, PA reported.

Smoke from the fires has reached far away – including to Cyprus, which is around 150 km (100 miles) away, Reuters reported.