Ankara : The wildfire near an Aegean coastal resort in southwestern Turkey has been largely contained although it is still spreading in a small area, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.
A total of 435 people have been evacuated since the fire erupted on Tuesday evening, with nearly 4,000 hectares of forest affected, Erdogan said during his visit to the wildfire-hit Marmaris District of southwestern Mugla Province, Xinhua news agency reported.
More than 4,500 firefighters and 61 water-dropping aircraft were deployed to fight the blaze, according to the Turkish President.
The police on Thursday detained a 34-year-old man who confessed to having started the fire following a quarrel with his family members, according to Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.
“If there is to be a deterrent punishment, the penalty for burning forests should be a death sentence. This should be debated,” Erdogan said of the arrest of the arsonist.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted that at least 29 people were affected by the blaze and 12 of them taken for treatment.
Water-dropping aircraft from Azerbaijan and Qatar joined the fight against the wildfire, Turkey’s defence ministry said.
Turkey was hit by one of the worst wildfires in the summer of 2021 fed by strong winds and scorching temperatures, which swept 53 provinces and killed at least eight people and numerous animals.