Three people were reported dead and more than 100 injured as firefighters battled blazes engulfing a Mediterranean resort region on Turkey's southern coast.

Officials also launched an investigation into suspicions that the fires that broke out yesterday in four locations to the east of the tourist hotspot Antalya were the result of arson.

Turkey's disaster and emergencies office said three people were killed - including an 82-year-old who lived alone - and 122 injured by the fires.

"Treatment of 58 of our citizens continues," it was quoted as saying by the Anadolu state news agency.

The fires affected a sparsely populated region about 75km east of Antalya - a resort especially popular with Russian and other eastern European tourists.

But images on social media and Turkish TV showed residents jumping out of their cars and running for their lives through smoke-filled streets lit up by orange flames.

At least 20 buildings housing 500 people were completely destroyed.

The inferno broke out with temperatures approaching 40C and wind gusts of 50km/h.

But Antalya mayor Muhittin Bocek said he suspected foul play because the fires started in four locations at once.

"This suggests an arson attack, but we do not have clear information about that at this stage," the mayor said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said an investigation had already been launched.

"All necessary support will be given to our citizens who have suffered from the fire," he said.

Most of the fires had been localised by this morning but rescuers continued to search for people needing help.

They rescued 10 people today who were stranded on a boat in a lake that was surrounded by burning forest.