Forest fires continue to rage across Turkey

Forest fires continue to rage across Turkey
Date: 30.7.2021 15:00

While the suspicions of arson were plaguing minds, the fires that grew with the effect of the wind and dry heat also threatened the settlements.

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While the teams were struggling, citizens were worried about their homes, gardens and animals as well as their lives. Both our forests and our hearts were burned! A massive forest fire in Turkey’s Mediterranean coastal city of Antalya has killed three people, officials said Thursday.
The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said in a statement that three people lost their lives and 138 others were affected by the wildfires in the Manavgat district, including one seriously wounded. The treatment of 58 people continues at hospitals, it added.
Many houses, workplaces, barns, farmland, greenhouses, and vehicles were damaged due to the blaze, it said, adding that a dozen teams are currently doing damage assessment. The Turkish Red Crescent sent a field kitchen, five catering vehicles, and catering units with a capacity for over 20,000 people.
Mustafa Yigit, a local official in Manavgat, told Anadolu Agency that 10 people were rescued at the Oymapinar Dam. “They were affected by the smoke and taken to the hospital,” he said, adding their lives were not in danger.
The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry is also using an unmanned helicopter to fight the Manavgat blaze. The copter, equipped with high-resolution thermal cameras and sensors, can stay in the air for up to eight hours. "A multi-faceted investigation and research on the cause of the fires is being conducted by the relevant law enforcement and judicial authorities," Minister Pakdemirli said.
Fires erupting one after the other are usual in the “fire” season when temperatures are at their highest but the damage was unprecedented this time, with flames devastating entire villages.
Fires in the southern regions popular among tourists also raised suspicion of arson while authorities are still investigating their causes.
The death toll from the fires rose to four late Thursday when a young man trying to aid firefighters died after being caught in the middle of a fire in Marmaris, a vacation resort town in the southwestern province of Muğla.
The other three whose deaths were reported Thursday were residents of Antalya who were unable to escape from fast-spreading fire in villages.
The wildfire which started in Antalya’s Manavgat on Wednesday was the most devastating. It grew by Thursday with another blaze breaking out in Akseki district neighboring Manavgat further fanning the flames. Strong winds are challenging the extinguishing efforts carried out by firefighters on the ground, planes and helicopters.
More than 60 forest fires were reported in the past two days across the country and 43 among them were brought under control, with cooling efforts underway. Some 4,000 firefighters, three planes, 38 helicopters, hundreds of fire trucks battle the flames.


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