Turkey sees 2,409 forest fires in 11 months
A total of 2,409 forest fires were reported between January and November across Turkey, according to data released by the General Directorate of Forestry, part of the Forestry and Waterworks Ministry, on Tuesday.

The data show that 10,404 hectares of forested land suffered damages in 2,409 fires that occurred mostly in the coastal provinces of the west and the south of the country. Low humidity, high temperatures and wind are seen as major contributors to the spread of the fires. Around 12,000 workers fought the blazes with six float planes, 14 water bombers, 29 helicopters and some 3,300 vehicles. Most of the fires occurred during the months of June and August.

In order to facilitate immediate intervention in the case of forest fires, forests are monitored around the clock by 776 fire towers, 66 of which host 132 cameras that transmit data to the Fire Operations Center in Ankara. In the case of a fire, the system alerts fire response teams within 15 seconds. Turkey is the first country to employ such a system, and the Forestry and Waterworks Ministry was recognized for it in 2011. The US state of California is also interested in the technology. Turkey also plans to open a fire fighting training center in Antalya, equipped with the latest technology, in the fall.

If you see a forest fire, please alert the authorities by dialing 177.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CİHAN
Last Modified: 2012-11-15 18:00:04
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