Flames Raging Across Tourist Destinations In Turkey Are The Most Intense On Record

According to satellite data, the heat intensity of flames in Turkey on Thursday was four times higher than any other occasion in the country's history. Fires raced across the tourist districts of Antalya and Mula, killing at least four people and causing hundreds of tourists to be evacuated from their hotels by a flotilla of boats.

Conditions were tinder-dry there, as well as at the locations of dozens of other fires around the country. The previous week, Cizre, a town in the southeast of Turkey, set a 60-year temperature record with a temperature of 49.1°C.

The pictures of damage in Turkey add to fears about the rising intensity of extreme weather in a climate-disrupted world, following fatal heatwaves in the Americas, floods in Europe and China, and fires in Siberia.

Popular Aegean Sea resorts were surrounded by smoldering slopes, with woodland and farms turned to ash, according to local media. Despite ground and air firefighting operations, 80 hectares (197 acres) of land were burned in Bodrum, Mula province. The flames shut off two hotels, causing almost 4,000 visitors and employees to be evacuated by coastguard and fishing vessels.

During the summer, wildfires are typical in Turkey, but the blazes during the past two days have been particularly severe. According to data from the EU's Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, the heat intensity of the country's flames reached over 20 gigawatts on Thursday, four times greater than the previous daily maximum.

Mark Parrington, a senior scientist with the EU's Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, stated, "Those figures are off the scale compared to the past 19 years." He said that smoke was flowing to Cyprus from fires near Antalya and Mersin.

Reporters in the impacted areas said they had never seen anything like it. A farmer, Ibrahim Aydn, said he had lost all of his animals and was nearly killed fighting the fires. “Everything I owned was destroyed in the fire. He told the Daily Sabah, "I lost lambs and other animals." “This isn't right. It felt like hell.”

More than 50 fires were put out around the country by firemen. The pollutants sent dozens of people to the hospital. As word spread, the hashtag #PrayForTurkey trended on Twitter, with photos of damage and maps indicating the locations of the country's more than two dozen fires.

Arson attacks by the Kurdish separatist organization PKK, according to government ministers, maybe the reason, although they supplied no evidence. Few domestic papers addressed larger climatic changes that are increasing fire hazards in Turkey and abroad.

Climate experts have long projected that rising temperatures and variations in rainfall will wreak havoc on the Mediterranean, owing to human-caused climate change. According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's most recent study, the danger of wildfires in southern Europe is expected to rise in the future.

Recent weather, according to Turkish climate expert Levent Kurnaz, has produced circumstances conducive to simple ignition. “It's terribly hot and dry outside. This aids in the ignition of flames. “Even the tiniest blunder leads to massive disaster,” he tweeted.