Turkey: 167 wildfires now under control
By Mustafa Calkaya and Zehra Nur Duz
ANKARA (AA): Turkey has successfully contained a total of 167 wildfires that have emerged a week ago, according to the country’s agriculture and forestry minister.
Forest fires are a global threat just like the COVID-19 pandemic, Turkey’s president said Wednesday.
The whole world is currently facing this challenge, which is like a “terrorist threat,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a live television interview.
The wildfires took place in 33 of Turkey’s 81 provinces, Bekir Pakdemirli said on Twitter, adding that efforts continue to put out the remaining 16 blazes in seven provinces around southern/southwestern Turkey: Adana, Antalya, Aydin, Denizli, Hatay, Isparta, and Mugla.
In an earlier statement, the Turkish Forestry Directorate said that they responded to wildfires in 98 rural areas with 16 firefighting aircraft, nine unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), 51 helicopters, one unmanned helicopter, 850 firefighter trucks and water tankers, 150 construction vehicles, and 5,250 personnel.
The National Defense Ministry said on Twitter that the Air Force Command continues to provide airspace use permits, monitoring and coordination of flight traffic, and ground support services for fighting the fire.
“In addition, the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) of our Air Force Command monitor the fire zones from the air 24/7, and provide instant image transfers,” it added.
Turkey’s high-tech drones are playing a key role in battling forest fires now raging in various parts of Turkey.
Turkey’s Forestry Directorate affiliated with the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry uses state-of-the-art technology to shorten the detection, response, and extinguishing time to fight forest fires.
Through extensive surveillance by drones, the size of the fire can be assessed more quickly and a precision response can be done.
Turkish army UAVs get real-time visuals in wildfire-prone areas and share them with a coordination center that sends them to aerial firefighting vehicles, telling them the location and direction of wildfires.
Working to detect and locate fires, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have so far logged 462 hours in the air.
*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas and Jeyhun Aliyev
[Photo: Works to extinguish the fire with helicopters at Marmaris district of Mugla, Turkey continue on August 04, 2021. Photographer: Ömer Evren Atalay/AA]