Firefighters battle wildfires in southwestern Turkey

Firefighters battle wildfires in southwestern Turkey
Firefighters battle wildfires in southwestern Turkey

Residential areas far from danger (Muhammad Emin Manguarslan / Anadolu Agency)

Turkish officials said firefighters were battling a massive forest fire in southwestern Turkey on Wednesday, reminiscent of fires that destroyed tens of thousands of hectares in the same region last year. Forestry Minister Vahid Kerichi, who visited the area known as Bordopet, close to the Aegean resort of Marmaris, said 20 helicopters and 14 other specialized aircraft were taking part in the firefighting effort.

“The intense efforts of our teams to control the fires are continuing,” Kerichi added in a tweet on Twitter, noting that the residential areas are out of danger. Aerial footage released by local forest authorities showed plumes of smoke rising from the area as fires fanned by strong winds spread through the forests in a sparsely populated area. The Mugla Provincial Governor’s office said the fire broke out at around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, but it was not yet clear what caused it.

The Turkish Communications Department said nearly 1,500 people and more than 360 vehicles are participating in the firefighting effort. The European Union’s weather watchdog said last summer’s fires were the most intense on record in Turkey, noting that the Mediterranean basin had become the epicenter of forest fires.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has been criticized for not being adequately prepared to deal with last year’s fires. She defended herself by saying that the fires were the worst in Turkey’s history.

Scientists say climate change caused by human activities is making heat waves more frequent and more intense.

(Reuters)

The article is in Arabic

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