Large-scale wildfires have been ravaging parts of Türkiye amid intensifying heatwaves, with the latest one engulfing tourist hotspot Antalya’s Kemer district, as firefighting crews pace up efforts to contain them.
As Türkiye, like the rest of the world, is recently experiencing record-breaking temperatures and heatwaves, teams are facing prolonged battles with numerous forest fires.
While teams are on high alert and intervening in new fires almost every day, a wildfire started on July 24 around 9:08 p.m. in the southern province of Antalya’s Kemer district.
While informing about the intervention efforts, Culture and Tourism Ministry Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said the initial aerial intervention was impossible due to the fire starting after dark, adding that the fire spread over 100 hectares throughout the night and reached an area of 120 hectares by morning.
“Access is difficult as the area comes within the boundaries of a national park. There are limited roads within the forest. The teams intervened at night and made the forest roads accessible,” Ersoy informed.
Noting that 1,050 personnel, more than 200 vehicles, 10 planes and 22 helicopters were intensely intervening in the field, Ersoy stated that as the wind was not blowing strongly on July 25, the teams were hopeful to bring the fire under control during the day.
While the density of trees on land was challenging for the teams, in the region where there is intense air traffic, nearly five aircraft were taking water from the sea and dropping it over the forests at the same time, the minister noted.
Ersoy also stated that the fire had not spread to any residential areas so far but that Kemer State Hospital was evacuated as a precautionary measure, while outpatient clinics continued to serve patients.
Earlier, a fire broke out in the noon hours on July 24 in the western province of Manisa’s Saruhanlı district and was brought under control hours later, while teams continued cooling work in the area.
Another fire in the southern province of Kahramanmaraş was also extinguished after 12 hours of intense firefighting efforts.
( Source Hurriyet Daily)