We continue our round up of the local news from Fethiye, Muğla and surrounding area.

First Fethiye Forest Fire of 2012

The first forest fire of the year took hold on the slopes of Babadağ very early on Wednesday morning.

Fire crews from both Fethiye and Ölüdeniz, along with the Forestry Commission’s own fire fighters, all went to the scene and eventually, battling against the increasing winds, they put the fire out.

It destroyed 2.5 acres of forest and the Commission’s representative told local press he believed it was started by a picnic fire, which hadn’t been put out properly, and was fanned into flame again by the overnight winds.

Storm Ripped Through

As all readers in and around Fethiye know the storm on Wednesday was severe.

Wind speeds of 88kph were recorded in Fethiye, which brought down trees, and did considerable damage to plastic growing tunnels.

One grower lost the plastic cover from 11,000 square metres of crops, and down the valley towards Xanthos, the roof blew off a primary school.

However, Istanbul seems to have got the worst of the storm with gusts recorded at 120kph, all small ferry boats cancelled, and two cases of large building projects where scaffolding totally collapsed with, luckily, no loss of life. Ferries from Bodrum and Marmaris to Kos and Rhodes respectively were cancelled.

The Governor of Fethiye, meanwhile, was looking into ways he could help growers who had suffered damage in the storm.

Van Earthquake Refugees Return

We’ve written several times about the victims of the Van earthquake who came to stay in Fethiye following the disaster.

Now they are starting to go home, having spent the winter here rather than in tents in the snow around Van.

Local press interviewed the first families to leave this week, who said they were extremely grateful for all the hospitality they had received here but, now the snows had melted in their home area, they were going back to repair/rebuild their houses and resume their former lives.

Many of the families have children currently attending local schools, and they will stay here until the end of the school year in early June.

Kids Quiz Fethiye Kaymakam

Finally on Friday, to start the Children’s Bayram celebrations in Fethiye, two lucky school kids got to change places with the Governor and the Mayor for part of the day.

The Governor’s desk was taken over by 11-year-old Elfe Yaz Korkmazgil who, when asked by local press what her plans were in her new role as Kaymakam, said “I haven’t really thought of any yet”.

However, 10-year-old Batuhan Uğurdan, who got the Mayor’s office, was clearly better prepared.

When asked the same question he said “I think we should open a summer school and create bicycle routes in Fethiye”.

A definite win for Batuhan say we.