2,688 forest fires broke out in Turkey in 2019

20 July 2020

Published by http://bianet.org

TURKEY – According to the statistics compiled by the Directorate General of Forestry, a forest land of 11 thousand 332 hectares, which equals to the size of 15 thousand 417 football fields, was razed in 2 thousand 688 forest fires that broke out in Turkey througut 2019.

As reported by Ayşegül Kahvecioğlu from Milliyet, 124 of these fires were set on purpose and 42 percent of them were sabotage. The total amount of forest land razed in deliberate fires was 686 hectares.

While 883 fires were identified to have started as a result of cigarettes or picnics, so due to “negligence or accident,” the cost of this negligence for the forests was a land of 6 thousand 529 hectares.

As for the remaining 1,309 fires that razed 3 thousand 744 hectares of forest land, their causes have remained unknown.

Half of them in İzmir

When considered by province, the highest number of forest fires was recorded in Turkey’s southern Aegean province of Muğla with 246 fires.

As for the biggest damage, it was in İzmir, where 146 forests were razed, accounting for 43 percent of all razed forest lands.

1.7-percent growth in four years

As of the year 2019, the total amount of forest land in Turkey was calculated as 22 million 740 thousand 297 hectares.The last four years have witnessed a mere growth of 1.7 percent in forest land.

While the Mediterranean province of Antalya (1 million 146 thousand 62 hectares) ranks first in terms of its total amount of forest land, it is followed by the central Black Sea province of Kastamonu (873 thousand 651 hectares), by the eastern Mediterranean province of Mersin (835 thousand 534 hectares) and by Muğla (829 thousand 309 hectares).

As for the poorest provinces of Turkey in terms of their forest land, it is the eastern province of Iğdır with 161 hectares. Iğdır is followed by Ağrı, another eastern province, with 5 thousand 905 hectares and by central Anatolian Nevşehir with 11 thousand 195 hectares of forest land.

What about the world?

According to the findings of researchers from Maryland University in the US based on global satellite data and an algorithm, approximately 12 million hectares of forest land disappeared around the world in 2019.

In other words, a forest land the size of a football field was razed across the world in 6 seconds. To put it differently, a forest land the size of the state of Pennsylvania was lost around the globe last year. (TP/SD)

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