Fight against wildfires continues for 7th day
While Turkey has taken control of around 150 forest fires since July 28, its massive fight against 13 wildfires in six provinces is ongoing for the seventh day as a meteorologist has said the rate of moisture will increase by Aug. 7, giving hope that the fires will end soon.
“Low rate of moisture and heavy winds raise the risk of fire. As of Friday [Aug. 7], the rate of moisture will be up,” Güven Özdemir told daily Hürriyet on Aug. 3.
According to the meteorologist, the rate of moisture will be around 65 percent during the daytime and 75 percent during the night.
“As of Friday, the speed of the winds per hour will decrease by 10 to 15 kilometers and the temperatures will be between 28 and 33 degrees Celsius. All these measurements can be accepted as gospel. The fire disaster will decrease with a vast scale,” he added.
Firefighters and the volunteers sweated off in the forefronts for the seventh day in the southern province of Antalya’s Manavgat, Gündoğmuş and Akseki districts and the south-western province of Muğla’s Marmaris, Köyceğiz, Milas and Bodrum districts.
All the houses in the Kızıldağ neighborhood of Manavgat have been evacuated as some houses close to a 4-million-euro worth solar power plant were burnt down.
In two other Aegean provinces, Uşak and Denizli, fires broke out too on Aug. 3. Two hectares of land were reduced to ashes in Denizli as a fire was put out in the Sorkun Village of Uşak with the help of the villagers.
“Turkey fights with its 45 helicopters and three airplanes and we have air support from six countries,” Mustafa Özkaya, an associate of the general directorate of forestry told on Aug. 3.
According to the official, İran gave support with an airplane and two helicopters, Azerbaijan sent a chopper and Ukraine delivered three helicopters, while Russia helped with five airplanes and three choppers.
“Four EU countries offered air support. One Canadair plane from Croatia landed in Antalya [on Aug. 2] and two CL-415 firefighting planes from Spain came to Muğla [on Aug. 3],” he added.
The other two offers were from Romania and France. “We turned down Romania’s offer while thanking them, and we had to cancel France’s proposal as it was not an amphibious vehicle,” the official highlighted.
Meanwhile, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares held a phone call with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, to convey the solidarity of Spain and condolences for victims. Çavuşoğlu thanked Spain for its support and assistance as part of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
Israel also extended its condolences to Turkey through a written Foreign Ministry statement.
“Following the disaster caused by forest fires in Turkey, the people of Israel are praying for the speedy recovery of the injured and sending their condolences to the families of victims,” it said.
Separately, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat dismissed social media claims that Turkey “turned down Israel’s offer to help,” adding that Tel Aviv had contacted Ankara after the fires broke out.