125 hectares destroyed in Antalya forest fire

125 hectares destroyed in Antalya forest fire

29 June 2014

published by www.todayszaman.com

Turkey — A forest fire that started at about 2:30 p.m. on Saturday destroyed 125 hectares of forestland near the village of Adrasan in the Kumluca district of Antalya province, according to the Hürriyet daily.

The fire was not brought under control until over 16 hours later, due to difficulties resulting from the direction of the wind and high temperatures in the area. According to the daily, two firefighting planes, two helicopters, 15 water tenders, five fire engines, over 100 firefighters and about 250 forestry workers struggled to put out the fire throughout the day.

Kumluca Governor Nurullah Çakır spoke to Hurriyet about the fire, saying he had warned the public about fires triggered by extreme weather conditions. “The fire continued for at least 16 hours because of the strong winds and high temperature. … Although our fire teams devoted all their energies to trying to put the fire out, it managed to spread to areas where many tourist hotels and holiday villages are located,” he stated.

The majority of homes, four hotels, one restaurant and many shops in the area were completely destroyed, but no loss of life has been reported so far.

Stating that all necessary safety measures had been taken, Kumluca Mayor Hüsamettin Çetinkaya said rescue workers had evacuated those who live in areas that the flames threatened before the fire reached their homes. “It was difficult to deploy firefighting vehicles as the hilly terrain hindered their movement. But I can say that everybody worked very hard in order to put the fire out. The firefighter teams have been carrying out further cooling efforts in the area. I hope everything will be fine from now on,” he added.

Emphasizing that this forest fire was one of the most devastating in the region, Antalya Forestry Directorate İsmail Üzmez said that he immediatelly went to the area where fire erupted. “Only consolation is that there is no loss of life thanks to the early evacuation. What is gone is gone. Now we have to bind up the wounds that fire caused” he said.

With temperatures topping 40 degrees Celsius in some areas and humidity remaining low, the Taurus Mountains, which run in a virtually unbroken chain along Turkey’s Mediterranean seaboard, were under a weekend warning of extreme fire conditions, the Turkish State Meteorological Service (DMİ) said.

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