Fire response time significantly decreases, says forest minister
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
AA photoTurkey’s Forest and Waterworks minister has said the country’s fire response time has decreased from 40 minutes in 2003 to 15 minutes in 2015, dramatically diminishing the amount of forest land destructed in each fire.
“As a result of our efforts, we gradually decreased this figure [fire response period] to 15 minutes as of 2015,” Minister Veysel Eroğlu announced in a written statement released ahead of summer, when fires commonly break out.
“On average, some 2,149 fires broke out annually between 2005 and 2014 and around 8,863 hectares of land were harmed due to these fires,” he said, adding the average amount of land destructed per fire stood at 4.12 hectares through that period.
In 2015, however, the latter figure dropped to some 1.5 hectares per fire as only 3,219 hectares were damaged in 2,150 fires.
The minister claimed Turkey was now the most successful Mediterranean country in firefighting due to its land and air vehicles.
According to reports, Turkey’s General Directorate of Forestry copes with fires with a total 36 aircraft including 5 amphibious aircraft, one plane, 6 administrative helicopters and 24 helicopters with water bucket.
The directorate also possesses a total 1,984 vehicles operating on land, including some 1,261 water trucks, 534 first response vehicles and 189 dozers, in addition to some 11,000 firefighters and 3,000 technical employees.