A forest fire in Turkey's Mugla province reached a power station on Wednesday evening, despite massive firefighting efforts.

The coal-fired power station has been evacuated, but authorities fear the fire could reach the coal supply.

Residents of a nearby town on the Aegean Sea have been evacuated by boat as a precaution.

Earlier in the day, firefighters appeared to have brought the wildfire around the power plant under control when seawater was thrown from the air onto the blaze and Turkish aid workers dug trenches around the building to keep the blaze at bay. When the fire flared up again, the army was deployed to evacuate people. Turkish television images show how the fire spread through the area via high-voltage cables.

The plant is said to have been connected to the electricity grid when the fire reached the building.

Tanks filled with hydrogen, normally used to cool the plant, had been emptied as a precaution and filled with water.

All explosive chemicals have been removed, according to regional authorities, but fears are that the fire will reach the thousands of tons of coal lying on the site.

Worst wildfires in Turkish history

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a televised interview that the fires are "the worst in the country's history".

He acknowledged that firefighters' efforts to save the coal-fired power plant had failed, due to "enormous winds" fanning the flames.

The Turkish government reported on Wednesday that 174 fires have broken out recently, most of which have also been extinguished.

More than 5,000 troops are deployed to fight the fire.

The Turkish fire brigade also receives international assistance.

Several countries, including Russia, Croatia and Spain, have sent fire-fighting planes.

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Drone images show devastation after forest fires in southern Turkey

See also: Forest fires mean new blow to tourism (and the government) in Turkey

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