Strong winds fan forest fire in southwestern Turkey

Strong winds fan forest fire in southwestern Turkey

Firefighters tackled a forest fire which broke out near the tourist town of Datca in southwestern Turkey, where the Aegean and Mediterranean seas meet, local authorities and media reported on Wednesday.

Nine helicopters, five aircraft and several other firefighting vehicles were sent to the region, the Mugla provincial governor's office said in a statement, adding that the fire was spreading due to strong winds.

Television images showed smoke billowing from trees and helicopters dousing water on the blaze as it spread through woodland in the touristic area.

"A large number of air and ground crews have been directed to the region. Necessary measures have been taken by our teams to protect settlements from fire," the statement said.

The blaze in southwestern Turkey conjured memories of last year's summer fires which ravaged 140,000 hectares of countryside, the worst on record.