Some 1,500 hectares of land burned in Mersin wildfires
A forest fire that broke out on Sept. 7 in the southern province of Mersin and reduced around 1,500 hectares of land to ashes has been brought under control, Agriculture and Forestry Deputy Minister Veysel Tiryaki has announced.
“A total of 1,500 hectares of land were affected by the fire, while the damage assessment and cooling efforts continue,” Tiryaki said.
Regarding the sabotage claim, Tiryaki stated that the relevant units are investigating the reason behind the fire.
Around 790 people from 303 houses were evacuated as a precaution, and there were no casualties, Tiryaki added.
In a social media post, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said, “Twenty people were affected by the forest fire that broke out in Mersin’s Gülnar [district]. Treatment of eight people continues, one of whom is in severe, three in moderate and four in good condition.”
Evacuees were accommodated in hostels, while there was no damage to any residence, officials said, adding that an 843-person facility is being planned to fulfill accommodation needs.
Some 100 personnel from the gendarmerie command carry out security and evacuation studies.
Upon the notifications, 11 firefighting aircraft, 29 helicopters, 138 firefighting trucks and 850 personnel were dispatched to the region. As it got dark at night, aerial intervention continued with helicopters with night vision.
“The highway between Mersin and [the southern province of] Antalya was closed to traffic. The fire has not threatened the construction of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant,” said Bekir Karacabey, the head of the General Directorate of Forestry.
He stated that the strong wind, which changed direction from time to time, complicated the extinguishing efforts.
The General Directorate of Highways (KGM) also announced that the road linking Mersin’s Aydıncık and Silifke districts, which was closed as a precaution as the fire spread to Silifke, was reopened to traffic.
“Thanks to the precautions taken, there are no fire threats to the settlements as of now. Necessary measures have been taken in the fire areas, where the work continues intensively,” the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said.
Noting that the extinguishing works were carried out in coordination with the General Directorate of Forestry within the scope of the country’s disaster response plan, AFAD announced that eight ambulances and 34 health personnel in total were on duty in the region.