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15 of 187 fires ongoing in Turkey: Erdoğan

07:19 05 August 2021 Author :  

Some 187 fires broke out in Turkey in the last eight days, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said late Wednesday during a televised interview, adding that 15 of them are currently ongoing.

The president also shared information about Turkey's efforts in putting out the blazes.

“51 helicopters, 20 planes are engaged in operations to douse forest fires,” he said.

Turkey managed to bring most fires in over 30 provinces under control but new flare-ups are adding to the country's woes. Manavgat, where the first major blaze broke out one week ago, is still grappling with the flames as new fires erupt in the western regions of Isparta, Denizli, Balıkesir and Manisa over the last two days.

Official figures from Tuesday show two fires underway in Antalya’s Manavgat and Gündoğmuş districts. Muğla has the most fires with five out of 13 blazes still threatening popular vacation resorts and rural areas in the districts of Marmaris, Köyceğiz, Menteşe and Milas.

The General Directorate of Forestry announced Wednesday that 174 fires broke out in the last eight days in 39 provinces and 160 of them were under control. The directorate said 16 water bomber planes, nine drones, 45 helicopters and around 5,250 firefighters had been mobilized to put out the fires.

In Milas, a massive blaze encircled a thermal plant, coming within just 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) of the facility. Authorities announced that ditches had been dug around the plant to prevent flames from reaching it. Local authorities said Wednesday that the fire was under control.

"The flames reached the wall of the power plant last night. The fire is now out," Milas Mayor Muhammet Tokat told Reuters. Two planes and four helicopters had helped firefighters on the ground to douse the flames, he said, and the power plant had resumed operations. Tokat said he had requested aerial support to the area around the power plant days ago while he was visiting a nearby neighborhood damaged by the blaze. Tanks with flammable materials at the plant were emptied as a precaution./agencies

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