Fires did not damage much, Antalya fire under control: Minister
Not too much of the forest cover in the southern province of Antalya has been burnt in comparison to last year following a massive wildfire, Turkish Forestry and Water Affairs Minister Veysel Eroğlu has said.
“If you ask ‘what has been burned up until now,’ we separate forest fires into two groups. One is a ‘covering fire,’ meaning the cover on the surface that does not damage trees very much, as only the cover is burned. And there is a ‘hill fire,’ that actually burns trees completely. The total of these is 1,192 hectares. This is not a very big number. We closed up [the season] at around 3,000 hectares last year. We are currently at one third, but let me say it, the actual part of this that has been burnt is 604 hectares. Some 604 hectares have been damaged; the rest is covering fire,” said Eroğlu a day before the fire in the Adrasan area of Antalya was reportedly taken under control.
Early on June 27, firefighting teams took the Adrasan fire under control after 20 hours of efforts to extinguish the blaze. Cooling operations began in the area early in the morning with the help of four helicopters and two planes, with sources saying the wind’s diminishing effect, as well as rising humidity and an increased number of ground teams, facilitated the firefighting efforts.
In his earlier statement, Eroğlu said hotels in the area would have been faced “a great risk if forest teams had not managed to save all the hotels from burning as a result of their unique, pioneering method.”
There is no concrete information on the cause of the fire, the minister said, noting that the Antalya Governor’s Office, security teams and the gendarmerie were conducting investigations. Eroğlu said there were reports that someone attempted to burn some materials in a greenhouse in the area but that the information had yet to be confirmed.
The fire which initially started on June 24 in the Kumluca district of Antalya was rekindled on June 26 in the district’s resort town of Adrasan – one of the few sites on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast to escape the construction boom which has blighted nearby sandy beaches.