Turkey — Some 38 people were fined on the grounds they failed to respond to a fire that broke out four months ago in the northwestern province of Tekirdağs Bağpınar village. The villagers have appealed to Malkara Penal Court of Peace for the cancellation of the fine.
A fire broke out in the woods of Bağpınar on Sept. 24 and was extinguished with the help of forest protection teams and citizens that same day. After a while, however, gendarmerie units notified Malkara Public Prosecutors Office that villagers were not involved in efforts to put out the fire.
After conducting an investigation into the complaint, 38 citizens were fined 270 Turkish Liras on the grounds that they had violated Article No. 69 of the Forestry Law because they failed to participate in efforts to extinguish the fire.
The fines were issued to a list of adult males in the village in 2011. However, Savaş Akkaya, who was in Ankara to perform his compulsory military service at the time of the fire and Recep Beçar, a visually-impaired villager, were also fined.
Fines were also issued against the village headman, Recep Akkaya and the villages imam, Mustafa Çayır, who was on duty during the fire.
According to Çayır, those who helped extinguish the fire were also fined. The failure was in the forest areas.Advertisement
Following a 10-year strategy, ACT fire managers have created a mosaic across the landscape of different fuel levels, burning at every opportunity.
But forests have been too wet to burn this spring and the past two summers.
A network of 500 fire trails and strategic burns along the north-west urban edge, heavy grazing and extra grass slashing will create a fortress for the territory which forecasters say faces a higher than average risk this summer.
After a fire-fuelled tornado in January 2003 killed four Canberrans and frightened thousands more, CSIRO fire expert Phil Cheney told the subsequent inquiry the fire’s penetration into urban areas under extreme conditions did not reflect a failure of fuel management on the urban interface.