Road from hell: Dramatic moment friends drive through flames in Turkey

These are the dramatic moments when a group of friends narrowly avoided wildfires in Turkey by driving through flames in their car to make a daring escape.

So far, the blazes have left four people dead, burned down homes and forced residents to evacuate villages and beach resorts.

In the video, shot by passengers on the rear seats of the car, the men are seen driving down a forest road with flames either side and smoke blocking out the sun.

These are the dramatic moments when a group of friends narrowly avoided wildfires in Turkey by driving through flames in their car to make a daring escape. Pictured: The men and their car are almost engulfed in a blaze as they find the road blocked with flames

These are the dramatic moments when a group of friends narrowly avoided wildfires in Turkey by driving through flames in their car to make a daring escape. Pictured: The men and their car are almost engulfed in a blaze as they find the road blocked with flames

Pictured: The men drive down the road and find the way blocked with flames

Pictured: The men drive down the road and find the way blocked with flames

These are the dramatic moments when a group of friends narrowly avoided wildfires in Turkey by driving through flames in their car to make a daring escape. Pictured: The men and their car are almost engulfed in a blaze as they find the road blocked with flames

The car pauses, before making its way further down the road where the flames are shown to be getting larger and more intense, billowing from all directions.

Further down the road, the driver is forced to stop as a huge pillar of flames engulfs the road a matter of feet ahead the the car. 

The driver slams the car into reverse as the other passengers panic, and drives back up the road in the direction they came.

Pictured: The view from inside the car as the men drive down the road in Turkey, with flames either side and ahead of the car.

Pictured: The view from inside the car as the men drive down the road in Turkey, with flames either side and ahead of the car.

Pictured: The view from inside the car as the men drive down the road in Turkey, with flames either side and ahead of the car.

Pictured: The view from inside the car as the men drive down the road in Turkey, with flames either side and ahead of the car.

Pictured: The view from inside the car as the men drive down the road in Turkey, with flames either side and ahead of the car. The driver was forced to slam the car into reverse and drive back up the road to get the group of friends to safety

When far enough away, the person filming is shown stepping out the car briefly – still as flames roar either side of the road – but quickly jumps back into the vehicle shouting at the others to stay inside the car.

The video cuts, and shows the car a few minutes later and shows the passengers watching the forest fires from a safer distance.

The car is shown from the outside, with the passengers assessing the potential damage to the vehicle. The boot of the car is shown full of luggage, as smoke continues to rise in the background.

It is unclear where the men were driving to and from, but thousands of people have been forced to evacuate their homes because of the fire. 

Pictured: Flames billow to the left of the car as it is driven down the road

Pictured: Flames billow to the left of the car as it is driven down the road

Pictured: Flames billow to the left of the car as it is driven down the road

Pictured: Flames billow to the left of the car as it is driven down the road

Pictured: Flames billow to the left of the car as it is driven down the road. The smoke is so thick it is unclear what time of day the men were driving 

Panicked tourists in Turkey hurried to the seashore to wait for rescue boats on Saturday after being told to evacuate some hotels in the Aegean resort of Bodrum due to the dangers posed by nearby wildfires, Turkish media reported.

Coast guard units were leading the operation and authorities asked private boats and yachts to assist in evacuation efforts from the sea as new wildfires erupted.

The death toll from wildfires raging in Turkey’s Mediterranean towns rose to six on Saturday after two forest workers were killed, the country’s health minister said.

An 82-year-old man and a married couple died, more than 50 people were hospitalised and dozens of homes were incinerated. More than 25 neighbourhoods or villages were evacuated. 

Fires across Turkey since Wednesday have burned down forests and some settlements, encroaching on villages and tourist destinations and forcing people to evacuate.

The minister of agriculture and forestry, Bekir Pakdemirli, said on Saturday that 88 of the 98 fires that broke out amid strong winds and scorching heat have been brought under control.

Pictured: Wildfires near Manavgat at Antalya, Turkey mediterranean coasts. More than 70 wildfires have broken out this week in provinces on Turkey's Aegean and Mediterranean coasts as well as inland areas

Pictured: Wildfires near Manavgat at Antalya, Turkey mediterranean coasts. More than 70 wildfires have broken out this week in provinces on Turkey's Aegean and Mediterranean coasts as well as inland areas

Pictured: Wildfires near Manavgat at Antalya, Turkey mediterranean coasts. More than 70 wildfires have broken out this week in provinces on Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean coasts as well as inland areas

Forestry workers and firefighter teams continue to respond to the forest fire that broke out in Manavgat district of Turkey's Antalya on July 31, 2021

Forestry workers and firefighter teams continue to respond to the forest fire that broke out in Manavgat district of Turkey's Antalya on July 31, 2021

Forestry workers and firefighter teams continue to respond to the forest fire that broke out in Manavgat district of Turkey’s Antalya on July 31, 2021

Pictured: Firefighters spray water into a building in Turkey where fires have broken out and ripped through homes, forcing people to flee

Pictured: Firefighters spray water into a building in Turkey where fires have broken out and ripped through homes, forcing people to flee

Pictured: Firefighters spray water into a building in Turkey where fires have broken out and ripped through homes, forcing people to flee

Neighbourhoods affected by the fire in five provinces were declared disaster zones by Turkey’s emergency and disaster authority.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the area on Saturday, inspecting the damage from a helicopter.

Speaking from the town of Manavgat, Mr Erdogan announced that the Turkish government would cover the rents for people affected by the fire and rebuild their homes.

He said taxes, social security and credit payments would be postponed for those affected and small businesses would be offered credit with zero interest. 

‘We cannot do anything beyond wishing the mercy of God for the lives we have lost but we can replace everything that was burned,’ he said.

Mr Erdogan said the number of planes fighting the fires had been increased from six to 13.

They included aircraft from Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran. The president added that thousands of Turkish personnel as well as dozens of helicopters and drones were assisting the firefighting efforts. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) visited the area on Saturday and inspected the damage from a helicopter

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) visited the area on Saturday and inspected the damage from a helicopter

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) visited the area on Saturday and inspected the damage from a helicopter

Troops from Azerbaijan helped to fight the forest fire in Turkey

Troops from Azerbaijan helped to fight the forest fire in Turkey

Troops from Azerbaijan helped to fight the forest fire in Turkey

The men were seen using water hoses as they ran near the encroaching flames on Saturday

The men were seen using water hoses as they ran near the encroaching flames on Saturday

The men were seen using water hoses as they ran near the encroaching flames on Saturday

Azerbaijan announced it would send 500 emergency workers, helicopters and other equipment to help Turkey, a close ally, battle the blazes. Above: Azerbaijan troops with hoses

Azerbaijan announced it would send 500 emergency workers, helicopters and other equipment to help Turkey, a close ally, battle the blazes. Above: Azerbaijan troops with hoses

Azerbaijan announced it would send 500 emergency workers, helicopters and other equipment to help Turkey, a close ally, battle the blazes. Above: Azerbaijan troops with hoses

urkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the crowd in Manavgat district of Antalya, Turkey on July 31, 2021

urkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the crowd in Manavgat district of Antalya, Turkey on July 31, 2021

urkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the crowd in Manavgat district of Antalya, Turkey on July 31, 2021

Pictured: Helicopters respond to the forest fire that broke out in Manavgat district of Turkey, Antalya on July 31, 2021. The death toll in wildfires raging in southern Turkey has risen to four

Pictured: Helicopters respond to the forest fire that broke out in Manavgat district of Turkey, Antalya on July 31, 2021. The death toll in wildfires raging in southern Turkey has risen to four

Pictured: Helicopters respond to the forest fire that broke out in Manavgat district of Turkey, Antalya on July 31, 2021. The death toll in wildfires raging in southern Turkey has risen to four

Helicopters respond to the forest fire that broke out in Silifke district of Turkey's Mersin on July 31, 2021. Efforts to control the forest fire that broke out in Silifke district continue

Helicopters respond to the forest fire that broke out in Silifke district of Turkey's Mersin on July 31, 2021. Efforts to control the forest fire that broke out in Silifke district continue

Helicopters respond to the forest fire that broke out in Silifke district of Turkey’s Mersin on July 31, 2021. Efforts to control the forest fire that broke out in Silifke district continue

A plane drops water over a forest fire that broke out two days ago in Aladag district of Adana in Turkey on July 31, 2021

A plane drops water over a forest fire that broke out two days ago in Aladag district of Adana in Turkey on July 31, 2021

A plane drops water over a forest fire that broke out two days ago in Aladag district of Adana in Turkey on July 31, 2021

At least five people have died from the fires in Manavgat and one died in Marmaris. Both towns are located on the Mediterranean and are tourist destinations.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 400 people affected by the fires in Manavgat were treated at hospitals and released, while 10 others were still in hospital for fire injuries.

In Marmaris, 159 people were treated at the hospital and one person was still undergoing treatment for burns.

In southern Hatay province, flames jumped into populated areas but were later apparently brought under control.

Wildfires are common in Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean regions during the arid summer months.

A heat wave across southern Europe, fed by hot air from Africa, has led to wildfires across the Mediterranean.

Temperatures in Greece and nearby countries in southeast Europe are expected to climb to 42C (more than 107F) on Monday in many cities and towns and ease only later next week. 

n aerial view of damaged area after a forest fire that broke out in Manavgat district in Antalya, Turkey on July 31, 2021. Cooling works still continue by fire crews

n aerial view of damaged area after a forest fire that broke out in Manavgat district in Antalya, Turkey on July 31, 2021. Cooling works still continue by fire crews

n aerial view of damaged area after a forest fire that broke out in Manavgat district in Antalya, Turkey on July 31, 2021. Cooling works still continue by fire crews

Pictured: A burned out forest is shown from above after a forest fire broke out in Manavgat district in Antalya, Turkey on July 31, 2021

Pictured: A burned out forest is shown from above after a forest fire broke out in Manavgat district in Antalya, Turkey on July 31, 2021

Pictured: A burned out forest is shown from above after a forest fire broke out in Manavgat district in Antalya, Turkey on July 31, 2021

Burned-out homes are shown from above in Turkey on Saturday after a fire ripped through the Manavgat district in Antalya

Burned-out homes are shown from above in Turkey on Saturday after a fire ripped through the Manavgat district in Antalya

Burned-out homes are shown from above in Turkey on Saturday after a fire ripped through the Manavgat district in Antalya

Pictured: A colour infrared satellite image shows fire lines and crews battling a wildfire near Oymapinar, Turkey July 29, 2021. Picture taken July 29, 2021

Pictured: A colour infrared satellite image shows fire lines and crews battling a wildfire near Oymapinar, Turkey July 29, 2021. Picture taken July 29, 2021

Pictured: A colour infrared satellite image shows fire lines and crews battling a wildfire near Oymapinar, Turkey July 29, 2021. Picture taken July 29, 2021

Turkey has blamed some previous forest fires on arson or outlawed Kurdish militants.

Mr Erdogan said Saturday that authorities were investigating the possibility of ‘sabotage’ causing fires.

Tourism is an important source of revenue for Turkey, and business owners were hoping that this summer would be much more profitable than last year, when pandemic travel restrictions caused tourism to plummet. 

Meanwhile, a 25-year-old volunteer died in another fire near the Turkish resort of Marmaris, 320 kilometers (200 miles) west of Antalya late Thursday, raising the death toll in the fires to four. 

The state-run Anadolu Agency said the man was taking drinking water to firefighters but got in a motorcycle crash and perished in the fire.

The mountainside fire in Marmaris briefly threatened holiday homes and hotels on Thursday while guests at a luxury hotel in the Aegean beach resort of Guvercinlik, near the town of Bodrum, were evacuated in boats, reports said. 

Azerbaijan announced it would send 500 emergency workers, helicopters and other equipment to help Turkey, a close ally, battle the blazes. 

Erdogan said Azerbaijan would also provide an amphibious firefighting aircraft, in addition to firefighting planes sent from Russia and Ukraine. Neighbouring Greece also offered help.

In Greece, authorities on Friday ordered additional fire patrols and infrastructure inspections as the country grappled with a heat wave fed by hot air from Africa that is expected to last more than a week. 

Pictured: A helicopter fights the forest fire that broke out in Manavgat district in Antalya, Turkey on July 30, 2021. Firefighter teams continue works to extinguish the fire

Pictured: A helicopter fights the forest fire that broke out in Manavgat district in Antalya, Turkey on July 30, 2021. Firefighter teams continue works to extinguish the fire

Pictured: A helicopter fights the forest fire that broke out in Manavgat district in Antalya, Turkey on July 30, 2021. Firefighter teams continue works to extinguish the fire

Pictured: Extinguishing works continue for the forest fire that broke out in Manavgat district in Antalya, Turkey on July 30, 2021

Pictured: Extinguishing works continue for the forest fire that broke out in Manavgat district in Antalya, Turkey on July 30, 2021

Pictured: Extinguishing works continue for the forest fire that broke out in Manavgat district in Antalya, Turkey on July 30, 2021

Pictured: Smoke rises from the fire that broke out near Armutalan neighbourhood of Mugla's Marmaris district in Turkey on July 30, 2021. The fire broke out on Thursday

Pictured: Smoke rises from the fire that broke out near Armutalan neighbourhood of Mugla's Marmaris district in Turkey on July 30, 2021. The fire broke out on Thursday

Pictured: Smoke rises from the fire that broke out near Armutalan neighbourhood of Mugla’s Marmaris district in Turkey on July 30, 2021. The fire broke out on Thursday

Pictured: A firefighting aircraft fights the fire that broke out near Armutalan neighbourhood of Mugla's Marmaris district in Turkey on July 30, 2021

Pictured: A firefighting aircraft fights the fire that broke out near Armutalan neighbourhood of Mugla's Marmaris district in Turkey on July 30, 2021

Pictured: A firefighting aircraft fights the fire that broke out near Armutalan neighbourhood of Mugla’s Marmaris district in Turkey on July 30, 2021

Pictured: Tourists watch, from the beach, a massive wildfire which engulfed a Mediterranean resort region, on Turkey's southern coast, near Marmaris, on July 30, 2021

Pictured: Tourists watch, from the beach, a massive wildfire which engulfed a Mediterranean resort region, on Turkey's southern coast, near Marmaris, on July 30, 2021

Pictured: Tourists watch, from the beach, a massive wildfire which engulfed a Mediterranean resort region, on Turkey’s southern coast, near Marmaris, on July 30, 2021

Temperatures in Greece and nearby countries in southeast Europe are expected to climb to 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 Fahrenheit) Monday in many cities and towns and ease only later next week. 

Wildfires are common in Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean regions during the arid summer months, though some previous forest fires have been blamed on arson or outlawed Kurdish militants.

In other Turkish provinces, authorities declared a ban on people entering forests in a bid to prevent more fires. 

Fire continues to spread through the trees of a forest in Koycegiz district of Turkey's Mugla province on July 30, 2021

Fire continues to spread through the trees of a forest in Koycegiz district of Turkey's Mugla province on July 30, 2021

Fire continues to spread through the trees of a forest in Koycegiz district of Turkey’s Mugla province on July 30, 2021

Pictured: A firefighter extinguishes a forest fire near the town of Manavgat, east of the resort city of Antalya, Turkey, July 30, 2021

Pictured: A firefighter extinguishes a forest fire near the town of Manavgat, east of the resort city of Antalya, Turkey, July 30, 2021

Pictured: A firefighter extinguishes a forest fire near the town of Manavgat, east of the resort city of Antalya, Turkey, July 30, 2021

Pictured: People try to help during a massive wildfire which engulfed a Mediterranean resort region on Turkey's southern coast near the town of Manavgat, on July 29, 2021

Pictured: People try to help during a massive wildfire which engulfed a Mediterranean resort region on Turkey's southern coast near the town of Manavgat, on July 29, 2021

Pictured: People try to help during a massive wildfire which engulfed a Mediterranean resort region on Turkey’s southern coast near the town of Manavgat, on July 29, 2021

Fires continued in southern coastal provinces of Adana, Osmaniye, Antalya, Mersin and the western coastal province of Mugla, a popular resort region for Turks and foreign tourists, where some hotels have been evacuated this week.

Weather forecasts point to heatwaves along the Aegean and Mediterranean coastal regions, with temperatures expected to rise by 4 to 8 degrees Celsius over their seasonal average, Turkish meteorological authorities say.

They are forecast to reach 43 to 47 degrees Celsius in the coming days in Antalya, the main province of Manavgat.

‘The weather is extremely hot and dry. This contributes to start of fires. Our smallest mistake leads to a great disaster,’ Turkish climate scientist Levent Kurnaz said on Twitter. 

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