İZMİR – Doğan News Agency
The General Directorate of Forestry announced on Aug. 26 the reforestation of the burned forest land in the Ayvalık district of the western province of Balıkesir.
Twenty hectares of land in the Hakkıbey peninsula were reduced to ashes in a fire on Aug. 17. In its statement, it said that as per article number 169 in the constitution, the state was in charge of forest lands and burned forests were to be reforested.
“This area’s resource value is its forests and recreational quality, and it is feasible for reforestation…Twenty hectares of land will be exposed to artificial regeneration. In the area that will be artificially regenerated, seeds will be planted, the area will be prepared with machinery, and cypress, locust, Calabrian pines, and umbrella pines will be planted. For the ecological balance to be reinstated that was damaged due to the fire and for the recovery of the natural, aesthetical, and recreational resources that were lost in the fire to be regained in a short period of time, the aforementioned process in the burnt down areas will take place and the areas will be reforested,” said the General Directorate of Forestry in its statement.
The fire on Aug. 17 reduced the land to ashes in just a couple of hours as it spread over a large area due to strong winds.
Locals living near the site of the fire had even evacuated their homes at the time.
The fire has prompted authorities to suspect a possible arson attack, although a conclusive answer has not yet been given regarding the cause.
“Every burnt tree is a dark heritage to the future,” said Ayvalık District Governor Namık Kemal Nazlı, regarding the fire.
Ayvalık is a tourism center of Turkey with many coasts surrounded by green olive groves, pure sea water and beaches, and contains historical and archeological values.
In addition to all statutory protection mechanisms, the areas east and south of Ayvalık and most of the Hakkı Bey Peninsula located at the west are protected through Forestry Law No. 6381. Parts of Cunda Island, also called Alibey Island, the largest of the archipelago of Ayvalık Islands, and areas of 20 other islands out of the total 22 islands located within the Ayvalık region, have been designated as a “natural park,” and are thus protected by National Parks Law No. 2873.
Meanwhile, approximately three hectares of olive groves were destroyed on Aug. 26 after a fire that broke out in the Aegean province of İzmir’s Torbalı district.
The fire in Yazıbaşı neighborhood spread very quickly in the area due to the effects of wind. The fire, which was brought under control in a short period time, was extinguished by teams of the İzmir Regional Directorate of Forestry, eight street sprinklers, three fire extinguishing helicopters, and one amphibian plane.
Officials have launched an investigation to determine the cause of the fire.