Hatay forests burn, fire not yet under control
HATAY - Doğan News Agency
A fire that broke out in the southeastern province of Hatay in the early hours of Aug.5 has not yet been brought under control as of Aug.7 morning. AA photoA fire that broke out in the southern province of Hatay in the early hours of Aug. 5 had not yet been brought under control as of Aug. 7 morning, continuing to ravage an area covering more than 700 hectares of calabrian pine forest.
More than 500 personnel with seven helicopters and three extinguishing planes carried out the extinguishing works yesterday evening. Three planes and eight helicopters are providing air support for the extinguishing attempts.
The towns of Karlısu and Karaali, along with Gülderen, Oğlakören and Dikmece villages, have seen most of the damage of the fire so far, with the flames even coming perilously close to settlements in the villages of Gülderen and Oğlakören.
“The expansion of the fire has been stopped, but it is still early to say it is under control,” Hatay Governor Celalettin Lekesiz told private news channel 24, adding that more than 2,000 hectares of land was affected by the fire.
Gov. Lekesiz said the only consolation was that there were no casualties. Asked if the reason of the fire could be arsony, the governor said there was no solid information to share with the public but security officials were investigating every clue.
Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin, who himself is also from Hatay, has examined the extinguishing work on the ground, expressing his sadness that the fire was spread over such a broad area.
Ergin said that the weather conditions and lack of roads to the area were factors making the job harder, but that no casualties were yet reported.
The minister added that the cause of the fire had not yet been identified.