EU wildfire risk map points several areas in Türkiye 'extremely risky'

EU wildfire risk map points several areas in Türkiye 'extremely risky'

EU wildfire risk map points several areas in Türkiye extremely risky

A forest fire risk map prepared by the European Union’s Copernicus Earth observation program has categorized many areas in Türkiye’s Mediterranean and the southern Aegean region as “extremely risky.”

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, particularly along the Mediterranean and South Aegean coasts.

These regions, where firefighting teams are on high alert and intervening in new fires almost every day, are categorized as “high-risk” areas on the map of the European Commission’s Copernicus Forest Fire Information Systems.

Sharing the map, the Antalya City Council’s Environmental Group issued a call for vigilance regarding the rising forest fires.

Emphasizing the importance of citizens, as well as all institutions, to stay cautious about forest fires and to take immediate action, the group also shared a series of recommendations.

Recommendations underlined that the main causes of forest fires are human activities, suggesting several measures such as maintenance of power transmission lines, creating buffer zones between residential areas and forested areas, avoiding parking vehicles in areas with easily ignitable dry grass, and refraining from any activities involving fire or potential sparks in the forest.

In the meantime, on July 15, a fire that broke out in Çanakkale’s Gökçeada district for an unknown reason was brought under control after approximately 16 hours of intervention.

The fire caused damage to an area of 110 hectares.

Another extensive fire in Muğla’s Marmaris district was brought under control after seven hours of tireless effort, while the fire caused damage to 160 hectares of land.

An investigation revealed that it originated from a cigarette butt thrown by the roadside.

Within the scope of the new measures against forest fires, a force of 21 firefighting aircraft, 94 helicopters, 25,000 trained personnel, and a staggering 120,000 dedicated volunteers are poised to combat the raging infernos and safeguard Türkiye’s precious woodlands this year.

The use of technology also plays a crucial role in early and effective response to forest fires. In order to detect fires earlier, 184 of the existing 776 towers were converted into smart towers, and 324 camera systems were installed.

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