“The overall situation regarding all forest fires in Muğla is getting better,” Bekir Pakdemirli said, speaking to reporters in the southwestern province of Muğla.
He said 16 forest fires broke out in the coastal city and six aircraft, 39 helicopters, 630 sprinklers, 128 construction equipment and 3,600 personnel joined efforts to douse the blazes.
He assured people of reforesting the areas consumed by the fires, adding that those areas would not be used for other purposes.
Pakdemirli also said that Greece requested a firefighting plane from Turkey.
“We are evaluating it. With the fading of forest fires in Turkey, if we can, we will provide it to Greece,” he stated.
As of yesterday, some wildfires were still burning in the Aegean provinces of Aydın, Isparta and Muğla.
Turkey on 12th day of forest fires
Started in the maquis area in Muğla’s Köyceğiz district and spread to the thick forests, the massive wildfire continues on the 12th day as firefighters battle blazes.
The flames can only be intervened from the air with two aircraft and three helicopters due to the fact that the wildfires take place in steep lands and deep canyons in the region.
Meanwhile, findings after the massive fires that raged on for days across more than half of Turkey’s southern provinces reveal the importance of firebreak, a gap in vegetation that acts as a barrier to slow or stop the progress of a wildfire.
The photos show the trees on one side of a road reduced to ash, but the other side remained green as the flames failed to bypass the safety lane.
Mustafa Karagöz, a retired forest engineer, draws attention to the fact that these firebreaks are used for transportation and that heavy vehicles could pass through these lanes to respond to the fire more easily.
“The number of these roads is extremely vital,” Karagöz said, adding that although there was no manpower to intervene in the fire in some places, the spread of the flames could be prevented by these means.
Doğan Kantarcı, a retired academic from Istanbul University, also noted that firebreaks in forest areas are critical in preventing the spread of fire.
It is expected that the firebreak practice will be implemented in all forest areas across the country by the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry in the coming period.
At least eight people and countless animals have been killed in Turkey due to the recent massive wildfires while villages and resorts had to be evacuated, with some people fleeing to beaches to be rescued by sea.
Hurriyet Daily News