Wildfire in southwest Turkey spreads to hotel; no one hurt

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A wildfire that broke out Friday in a resort area in southwestern Turkey spread to a hotel that also serves as a tourism training school, officials said. No injuries were reported, and the blaze later was brought under control.

The blaze started in the Icmeler resort area, close to the Aegean Sea port city of Marmaris, in Mugla province.

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

Prosecutors launched an investigation into the cause of the fire, the TV station reported.

At least seven water-dropping helicopters and five planes were involved in trying to put it out, the Mugla governor’s office said. The Coast Guard closed an area of the sea to maritime traffic to allow the helicopters to safely refill, it said.

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

The government came under criticism for not being prepared to fight large-scale wildfires, including a lack of modern firefighting planes.

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