Antalya ready to fight forest fires

Antalya ready to fight forest fires

20 May 2009

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Turkey — Antalya faces the danger of more than 200 forest fires each year, but an Antalya forest official says this year they have the equipment, knowledge and manpower to combat the fires.

“We are ready to fight forest fires with two planes, two helicopters, 92 water trucks and 911 fire fighters,” saidAntalya Regional Forest Administration Manager Recep Kaşan, who added that they have formed seven teams to fight the fires.

Fires inAntalya have been devastating in the past. The 2008 forest fire inAntalya’s Serik and Taşağıl districts burnt down a total of 16,925 hectares of forest area, 13,018 hectares of which was fertile farmland.

Kaşan, underlining the importance of awareness in fighting forest fires, said that they have educated fire fighters in fire fighting theory and practice at Düzlerçamı Fire Education Center.

“The fire fighters’ training will continue until June. Fire fighters are taking courses on using radios, communication, first aid and personal equipment,” said Kaşan. Emphasizing that the heavy rainfall this year added to the grass volume of the area, Kaşan said that when the grass dries out, it would increase the fire danger in the forests. “Our citizens should have their picnics in the permitted areas,” he suggested. Kaşan said there were 72 water reserves and they would increase the number to 91.

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