Blazes contained in Antalya districts after 218 hours of firefighting

Blazes contained in Antalya districts after 218 hours of firefighting

Blazes contained in Antalya districts after 218 hours of firefighting

It took 218 hours of firefighting at full pace to contain forest fires in Antalya's Manavgat and Gündoğmuş districts, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Aug. 6. 

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu made the remarks before holding an evaluation meeting at the coordination center of the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) in Manavgat. He was accompanied by Minister of Environment and Urbanization Murat Kurum.

Çavuşoğlu said despite difficult conditions and strong winds, crews put out fires at critical points.

As many as 1,915 vehicles and 8,155 personnel were in the field Friday, while air forces carried out 1,600 sorties, he said, adding that 59 neighborhoods in five districts were affected by the fires that have lasted for nearly 10 days.

The foreign minister said 40 fire trucks and 362 more personnel from Azerbaijan, and two helicopters and 16 personnel from Kazakhstan will come to Turkey to take part in the fight.

He added two planes were also rented from Israel, and two helicopters are on the way from the U.S.

Meanwhile, Kurum said 808 of 821 citizens in Antalya who were directly affected have been discharged after treatment.

He said 149 of 400 container installations in the province have been completed for citizens in urgent need, while 140 tents have been set up.

Kurum added that teams will be working to afforest the entire area within a year.

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Of some 225 forest fires that started last week, just five remain ongoing, said Turkey’s agriculture and forestry minister on Aug. 7. 

Most of the fires have been contained thanks to the dedicated efforts of Turkish firefighting teams, while the blazes in Köyceğiz, Kavaklıdere, Milas, Yatağan and Çine in the southwestern Muğla province continue, as well as one in the town of Sütçüler in Isparta, Bekir Pakdemirli told reporters.

Firefighting teams are working hard to protect a thermal power plant and touristic areas in Muğla, where as many as 15 forest fires initially broke out, he added.

The fire in Milas is currently "dormant, not posing any significant threat," he said

"We have been combatting the fires with 16 aircraft, nine unmanned aerial vehicles, 57 helicopters, an unmanned helicopter, 850 water tenders and tankers, and 150 engineering vehicles, along with 5,250 forestry personnel," Pakdemirli added.

At least eight people have been killed, according to official figures, since fires started in southern and southwestern Turkey on July 28.