Our headline photo shows a devastating forest fire that happened in 2014 at Adresan, in Antalya.
Yesterday a small fire on the maquis covered hillside in Taşyaka was quickly extinguished by Fethiye’s brave helicopter team from the Forestry Ministry.
Thankfully this fire caused hardly any damage but today another ‘copter was seen flying over Fethiye. with a hot, and most likely, dry summer to come, be on your guard.
If you see a whiff of smoke coming from the forests that surround Fethiye get on the phone and call 177 before it’s too late.
Green But Tinder Dry
Turkey has approximately 22 million hectares of forests, most of which is on the coasts or in the immediate hinterland, covering 26% of the country.
These forests are an important part of Turkey’s rich, diverse ecological environment as well as being productive: timber and honey being among the most important.
Whilst they can appear lush and green, Turkey’s forests are in fact tinder dry, even at this time of year and highly vulnerable to fire during the summer months.
Many fires are as a result of a cigarette carelessly thrown out of a car window, picnickers making a campfire or barbeque, which gets out of control or is not properly extinguished, or farmers burning stubble after harvesting.
Other significant causes are from hunting guns, broken electric cables or lightning, rubbish (glass in particular) and on occasion from the deliberate and act of fire-raising.
Here are a few tips to help keep Fethiye’s wildlife safe and its environment beautiful, tidy and free from forest fires.
[success]Be careful when discarding cigarette ends as they can cause a wildfire.[/success]
[info]Be a responsible picnicker – If you want to have a picnic by all means do but dispose of your rubbish in an authorised bin or, even better, take it home with you. Discarded glass bottles can magnifying the sun’s rays and cause a fire.[/info]
[success]Don’t ever use barbeques in the forests. Even though you may see Turkish people doing this, it is strictly illegal and being caught using one could result in a heavy fine and worse. Even if you are using one at home be very careful to keep sparks away from dry vegetation. It’s a good idea to keep some buckets of water to hand, just in case.[/success]
[info]Don’t release sky lanterns during the summer months. These may be very pretty to watch as they float through the night sky but they can be extremely dangerous and have the potential to start a fire if they land back on the earth still alight. The Fethiye governor has in fact banned the use of these and fireworks during the summer months.[/info]
Raise the Alarm
If you see a forest fire or are suspicious that one has been started please call 177 immediately.
Enjoy Fethiye’s marvellous countryside but please watch out for fire risks.