Wildfire in southwest Turkey spreads to hotel; nobody hurt


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ANKARA, Turkey — A wildfire that broke out at a seaside resort in southwestern Turkey on Friday has spread to a hotel that doubles as a tourism training school, officials said. No injuries were reported and the fire was later brought under control.

The blaze started in the resort town of Icmeler, near the Aegean port city of Marmaris in Mugla province.

Everyone at the hotel and surrounding structures has been safely evacuated, Marmaris Mayor Mehmet Oktay told HaberTurk TV. Video footage showed one side of the hotel in flames. A villa and several vehicles in Icmeler were also damaged.

Prosecutors have opened an investigation into the cause of the fire, the broadcaster reported.

At least seven water-dropping helicopters and five planes attempted to put it out, the Mugla governor’s office said. The Coast Guard has closed an area of ​​the sea to marine traffic to allow helicopters to refill safely, he said.

Last summer, fires fueled by strong winds and scorching temperatures tore through forests in Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean regions, including Marmaris. The wildfires have killed at least eight people and countless animals, and have been described as the worst in Turkey’s history.

The government has been criticized for being unprepared to tackle large-scale wildfires, including the lack of modern firefighting aircraft.

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