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Trapped tourists evacuated from vacation beaches by private boats and yachts as forest fires rage in Turkey

A helicopter responds to the forest fire that broke out in the Marmaris district of Mugla, Turkey on July 31, 2021. Mahmut Serdar Alakus / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

  • Turkey is fighting raging forest fires that are destroying homes and forcing people to flee.

  • Tourists were evacuated from hotels and rescued by boats at Mediterranean seaside resorts.

  • These included private boats and yachts which assisted in the effort.

  • Visit the Insider home page for more stories.

Tourists in Turkey are being evacuated from beaches due to raging forest fires amid a severe heat wave with temperatures exceeding 40C.

Around 100 fires broke out this week in 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 have been ordered to evacuate hotels. They gathered on the beaches of their resorts where they were picked up by boats, including private ships, The Guardian reported.

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

Authorities have asked people for help with their own boats, 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.

“There is nothing we can do but wish for God’s mercy for the lives we have lost, but we can replace whatever has been burned,” he said, PA reported.

Smoke from the fires has spread far and wide, including to Cyprus, about 150 km (100 miles), Reuters reported.

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