Arson suspected in new forest fires on Mount Ida

Arson suspected in new forest fires on Mount Ida

Arson suspected in new forest fires on Mount Ida

AA photo

A forest fire which broke out in four different spots around Mount Ida (Kazdağları) in the Edremit district of the western province of Balıkesir on Aug. 9 may have been caused by arson, Doğan News Agency has reported.

Two firefighting aircraft, four helicopters, 24 sprinklers and two bulldozers were immediately dispatched to the area near the Şahinderesi Canyon above the Altınoluk neighborhood, said Metin Kırcı, the head of the Balıkesir regional directorate of forestry.

“We undertook the first intervention in the first six minutes [of the fire]. The fact that the fire is happening in four different spots, worsened by the wind, is making their work harder. Our units are working non-stop,” Kırcı said.

Officials are investigating the possibility of arson, as a forest fire which broke out in June in the same area was recorded as an arson attack.

In the arson attack on June 30, the area located in the upper part of the Avcılar village burned down due to a fire that had also broken out in four different spots like this one.

Meanwhile, others forest fires were reported across Turkey on Aug. 9, reducing village houses and barns to ashes.

Five hectares of land were damaged in the southern province of Osmaniye’s Düziçi district on Aug. 9. as a result of a fire that stemmed from cords on high-tension lines rubbing against one another. 

One firefighting aircraft, one helicopter, ten street-sprinklers, and a team of 100 firefighters were immediately dispatched to the area. The gendarmerie officials have started an investigation into the incident. 

Separately, the authorities announced that the fire which broke out in the eastern province of Erzurum’s Oltu on Aug. 5 was eventually brought under control four days later, early on Aug. 9. The four-day fire burned down 20 hectares of land in the area, with authorities having not yet identified the cause of the fire.

Apart from locals of the Oltu district, fire crews from the northeastern provinces of Artvin, Ardahan, and Giresun as well as from Georgia participated in extinguishing the fire. But due to the mountainous geography of the region, with no proper roads existing in order to access the area easily, the time to extinguish the fire took longer than expected.

In another fire that broke in Erzurum’s Şenkaya district on Aug. 8 at around 11 a.m., 20 houses and 10 stables were reduced to ash. Three fire trucks, two helicopters, two street-sprinklers, two trucks, and two excavators were dispatched to the area, along with 25 tents and 45 beds. The authorities launched works in the area to assess the extent of the damage.