Reforestation efforts bear fruit, photos show
The latest photographs released by the General Directorate of Forestry show that areas affected by wildfires in recent years have recovered at a fast pace.
Thanks to reforestation and natural regeneration efforts, the dominant color of firegrounds in the Aegean provinces Muğla, Denizli, Kütahya and İzmir, the Marmara Sea provinces of Çanakkale and Balıkesir, as well as the Mediterranean province of Antalya, has turned from brown to green.
One of the captivating photos showing the areas before and after the forest fires shows the steady revival around Torba Bay near the resort town of Bodrum. An area of nearly 3,000 square meters had burst into flames in a wildfire that took five days to be put out in 2020. With 490,000 newly underplanted Turkish pines, the area has been forested again.
Gökhan Ergan, a fire ecologist from Hacettepe University, warned against new forest fires as the weather warms up across the country.
“As of May, we could observe that weather temperatures rise and the rate of humidity decreases. Under these circumstances, plants in a forest could easily catch fire,” he noted.
Lighting a fire around forestlands should be strictly banned and travelers should only be allowed to camp in designated places, he said.
It takes around 25 years to reforest an area after a fire, he added.
Turkey saw hundreds of forest fires erupt in its southern and southwestern provinces last summer, destroying swathes of land. With intensive and dedicated efforts, all of the blazes were brought under control in over two weeks.