Some 136 forest fires, as well as another 128 fires in rural areas, have been doused around Turkey in the last week, Turkey’s agriculture and forestry minister said July 27 after inspecting firefighting efforts in the northwestern province of Çanakkale.
“We used unmanned aerial vehicles to detect 62 fire zones in this period,” added Bekir Pakdemirli.
Twelve new forest fires broke out in seven provinces over the weekend, but they are all under control, he said.
“Firefighters have battled five fires in Çanakkale province, two in Elazığ province and one each in the provinces of Isparta, İzmir, Kahramanmaraş, Kastamonu and Kütahya,” said the minister.
Ninety percent of fires are ignited by human error, Pakdemirli said. “People who go to forests on the weekend should be very careful not to start a fire.”
Discussing the fires in Çanakkale, the minister said a total of 230 personnel, two amphibious aircraft, 10 helicopters and five bulldozers had been battling the flames. Three people have also been injured, sources said.
The minister also paid condolences to those who have died in the line of duty.
“Yesterday was the anniversary of the death of Talat Göktepe, the regional forestry director who lost his life in 1994. Last week, two were martyred in İzmir. Unfortunately, a person injured in that incident lost his life yesterday too.”