217 forest fires contained, 6 ongoing in southwestern Turkey

Firefighters combatted 223 fires in 47 provinces since July 28, contained all but 6, says Turkey's agriculture and forestry minister.

217 forest fires contained, 6 ongoing in southwestern Turkey

Of some 223 forest fires that started last week, just six remain ongoing, said Turkey’s agriculture and forestry minister on Saturday.

Most of the fires have been contained thanks to the dedicated efforts of Turkish firefighting teams, while the blazes in Koycegiz, Kavaklidere, Milas, Yatagan, and Cine in the southwestern Mugla province continue, as well as one in the town of Sutculer in Isparta, Bekir Pakdemirli told reporters.

Firefighting teams are working hard to protect a thermal power plant and touristic areas in Mugla where as many as 15 forest fires initially broke out, he added.

The fire in Milas is currently "dormant, not posing any significant threat," he said.

"We have been combatting the fires with 16 aircraft, nine unmanned aerial vehicles, 57 helicopters, an unmanned helicopter, 850 water tenders and tankers, and 150 engineering vehicles, along with 5,250 forestry personnel," Pakdemirli added.

On Twitter, he said the wildfires in Mugla’s Marmaris, Seydikemer and Yilanli districts have been contained, along with those in Karacasu and Bozdogan in the Aydin province, and Golhisar in the Burdur province.

Another wildfire near the central Black Sea province of Karabuk was also contained, Pakdemirli added.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum and Transport, and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu visited the areas affected by the blazes. Later they held a closed-door meeting with representatives of fire-hit regions to hear about their needs.

A firefighting team from Azerbaijan including 40 fire trucks and 150 personnel has also been dispatched to Hamza in the Black Sea Samsun province.

At least 107 houses were damaged in blazes in Alanya in the southern Antalya province, Mayor Adem Murat Yucel said in a statement.

Bekir Yilmaz, the district governor of Bodrum in the southwestern province of Mugla, said initial aid of some 35,000 Turkish liras (over $4,000) per household has been provided to citizens affected by fires.

At least eight people have been killed, according to official figures, since fires started in southern and southwestern Turkey on July 28.