July 29 (UPI) -- At least three people died in Turkey on Thursday as officials said more than 50 forest fires were recorded in the country.
An 82-year-old man was found dead during an evacuation of the Kepezbeleni district and 62 people were hospitalized in Antalya after inhaling smoke and sustaining burns from the blazes.
Turkish Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli also said rescue teams were dispatched to retrieve 10 people stranded near the Oymapinar dam.
Pakdemirli said a total of 53 forest fires were recorded on Wednesday and Thursday in the Mediterranean and southern Aegean regions but said most of them have since been brought under control.
Authorities evacuated 18 villages and Volkar Hulur, district governor of Akeski, said 80% of the homes in the Kepezbeleni neighborhood had burned down.
Pakdemirli said 10 blazes remained active and more than 1,832 fire personnel had been deployed to combat them.
The cause of the fires were under investigation but Fahrettin Altun of the Turkish president's office said "those responsible will have to account for the attacks against nature and forests."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also pledged that the government would work to assist victims of the fires.
"All necessary support will be given to our citizens who have suffered from the fire," Erdogan said.