World Bulletin / News Desk
A wildfire destroyed 500 hectares of forestland in the Kaz (Ida) Mountains in the western province of Balıkesir. The fire was brought under control early on Wednesday following two days of hard work by firefighters.
The large wildfire started late on Monday in the Havran district of Balıkesir province. Firefighting teams from the country's forestry service, which rushed to the area soon after the fire broke out, worked hard to extinguish the fire but were unsuccessful due to extreme weather conditions, with winds blowing at speeds of over 70 kilometers per hour. More than 100 fire trucks were used to tackle the fire.
The firefighters brought the fire under control early on Wednesday at 1 a.m. and then worked on cooling down the area. No injures were reported as a result of the wildfire, but many people were forced to evacuate their villages in the affected area as part of security measures taken by officials.
The head of the Regional Directorate of Forestry, Recep Ateş, who spoke to the Anatolia news agency on Wednesday, said that 500 hectares of forestland had been destroyed, adding that most of the destroyed land comprised Calabria pine forest. Olive groves and farmland had also been affected by the fire. Stating that the fire had been brought under control very early on Wednesday, he added that 25 vehicles equipped with sprinklers were working to cool down the area.
Ateş said once the area had been cooled down, it would be cleaned up. “After all the work is completed, the Regional Directorate of Forestry will replant trees in the destroyed area. We will make the area as green as it was before. The wildfire spread very rapidly due to strong winds, but there are some parts of the forest that were thankfully not destroyed by the fire. There are also some trees that withered due to the extreme heat. Those trees will be cut down and replaced with new young trees,” Ateş stated.