Four firefighters died battling forest fires that have been raging in northern Syria since Wednesday, said the official news agency.

Planes from neighbouring Turkey had joined Syrian teams to try to contain the fires, which had spread to the area around the main road between the trading hub of Aleppo and the port of Latakia on the Mediterranean, the agency said.

Witnesses said several villages had been evacuated and a number of side roads closed, but no more casualties were reported.

Above-average temperatures have contributed to a series of forest fires in Syria over the past few months.