World

Deadly agricultural fire spreads through south-east Turkey

At least five people have died.

The fire has been brought under control (Dia Photo via AP)
The fire has been brought under control (Dia Photo via AP) (Sercan Ozkurnazli/AP)

Five people have been killed and dozens more required medical treatment after a fire that started with the burning of crop stubble spread through settlements in south-east Turkey overnight, officials said.

The blaze erupted in an area neighbouring the provinces of Diyarbakir and Mardin.

Fanned by winds, it moved quickly through the villages of Koksalan, Yazcicegi and Bagacik, Diyarbakir Governor Ali Ihsan Su said. The fire was brought under control early on Friday.

Health minister Fahrettin Koca wrote on social media platform X that 44 people who were affected by the blaze and smoke, were treated in hospital. Ten of them are in serious condition.

Several people have died after crops burned in south-east Turkey (Dia Photo via AP)
Several people have died after crops burned in south-east Turkey (Dia Photo via AP) (Sercan Ozkurnazli/AP)

Justice minister Yilmaz Tunc said authorities have launched an investigation into the cause of the blaze.

Residents believe the fire was caused by sparks from a power line which set crop residue ablaze, according to independent news website Gazete Duvar. Some of the people taken to hospital were villagers who tried to extinguish the fire, it added.

Hundreds of farm animals also perished in the fire, according to news channel HaberTurk.

Television images showed a large blaze illuminating the night sky.

Across the country in north-west Turkey, meanwhile, firefighters were battling to contain a wildfire near the town of Ayvacik in Canakkale province, said the state-run Anadolu Agency.

No-one was hurt but authorities evacuated the small village of Camkoy as a precaution, the agency reported.

It was one of several wildfires to have erupted in the province of Canakkale in the past week amid high winds and scorching summer temperatures.