Death toll climbs after fire hits southern Turkey

At least 11 people have been killed in the fires.

Soaring temperatures have sparked blazes across the region (Dia Photo via AP, File)
Soaring temperatures have sparked blazes across the region (Dia Photo via AP, File) (Sercan Ozkurnazli/AP)

Eleven people have died after a fire that started in crop stubble spread through settlements in south-east Turkey overnight, officials and news reports said.

In neighbouring Greece, authorities evacuated several villages south of Athens and in the southern Peloponnese region because of wildfires.

The blaze in Turkey broke out in an area between 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 posted on X that 11 people were killed. Around 80 others required medical treatment, including six who were in serious condition.

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

Residents believe the blaze was caused by sparks from a power line that 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 said.

Dozens of others were hurt (Dia Photo via AP)
Dozens of others were hurt (Dia Photo via AP) (Sercan Ozkurnazli/AP)

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

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

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

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

Wildfires also erupted in Greece amid very windy, hot and dry conditions. Six villages or settlements were ordered evacuated as a precaution because of wildfires near Anavyssos, just south of Athens, and in the southern Peloponnese region.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage to property, and firefighters on the ground were assisted by water-dropping aircraft.

The greater Athens region was on the top wildfire emergency footing on Friday because of the weather forecast, with bans on entering forests and parks.