TURKEY – Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli has announced that the forest fire the broke out in Gelibolu, Çanakkale has been taken under control under having razed 450-hectare forestland.
Currently in Turkey’s western Çanakkale province to observe the fire-fighting efforts, Minister Pakdemirli has indicated that an exact damage assessment can only be made when the fire is fully extinguished.
While over 500 people, including teams from neighboring cities, have also joined the efforts, excavators and air vehicles are also trying to put out the fire in places where it has not yet been extinguished.
CHP MP Şeker: 2,388 forest fires in 10 years
On the other side, according to the answer of Pakdemirli to a Parliamentary question by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), 2,388 forest fires broke out across the country annually in the last 10 years, affecting an average of 6,665-hectare forestland in a year.
Pakdemirli has referred to “negligence, carelessness, intention and accidents” as the causes of these fires.
Commenting on the answer of the Ministry, MP Şeker has said, “23,880 forest fires broke out in our country in the last 10 years and 66,650-hectare forestland has been affected. To calculate roughly, our forestland more than the size of 93 thousand football fields has been razed. Nearly seven forest fires broke out per day in the last 10 years.”
According to the 2019 Activity Report of the Directorate General of Forestry, 2,688 forest fires broke out only in 2019, Ali Şeker has added further.
“The perpetrators of 1,309 of these fires have remained anonymous. 12,604 forest fires broke out in the last five years. While 664 of them were set on purpose, the perpetrators of 6,278 fires have been unknown.” (HA/SD)