Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Bekir Pakdemirli stated that 53 of the 275 forest fires in 272 provinces were under control and said, "(Milas fire) We are faced with a fire that spreads from invisible places like cancer and can start from a single point, but we intervene intensively." said.
Minister Pakdemirli, in a statement before the coordination meeting in Muğla's Marmaris Forestry Operations Directorate Martyr Görkem Hasdemir Beldibi Fire Team Building, said that there is currently a significant excess capacity in extinguishing vehicles as the fires are concentrated in one province.
Stating that the fires were intervened by air and land, Pakdemirli said, “It is the 14th day in forest fires. So far, 53 forest fires have occurred in 275 provinces with the effect of hot weather, wind and low humidity, and 272 of them are under control.” used the phrase.
Explaining that the planes they will temporarily send to Greece can be withdrawn again within an hour, Pakdemirli emphasized that due to the demand from the EU and the fires there, they acted quickly.
Pointing out that the mobility of aircraft is higher than that of helicopters, Pakdemirli said:
“Our plane, which intervened somewhere in Athens, is in a position to re-deploy here in 45-50 minutes. In this sense, we need to help our neighbors in this regard, as we have aircraft that are not deployed in many fires. Our forests are not just our forests, they are the forests of the world. Both plant and wildlife here belong to the whole world. Of course, we will think of ourselves first, but if we have excess capacity, we should not hesitate to send it to our neighbors. The size of the fires, especially in Greece, has reached very serious dimensions compared to the size of the country and the forested areas of the country. The threat to settlements has reached serious proportions. In this sense, it is planned to send these 2 planes to our neighbor in terms of aid.”
“DAMAGE ASSESSMENT IN 9 PROVINCES, 27 DISTRICTS, 182 VILLAGES”
Mentioning that the fire in Milas district of Muğla was intervened from the air and from the land, Pakdemirli said, “We are faced with a fire that spreads from places that do not look like cancer and can break out at one point, but we intervene intensively. There is no significant threat to settlements from the fire in Köyceğiz, we are fighting effectively from air and land.” he said.
Pakdemirli emphasized that damage assessment studies are continuing and damage assessments of 9 thousand 27 farmers were made in 182 provinces, 9 districts and 51 villages.
Sharing the latest reports, Pakdemirli said, “According to the latest studies, 65 thousand 124 decares of cultivated land, 923 decares of greenhouses, 404 cattle, 4 thousand 445 small cattle, 7 thousand 797 bee hives, 29 thousand 521 poultry, 6 thousand 913 tools and machinery, 2 thousand It was determined that 687 tons of stored products and 2 thousand 401 agricultural structures were damaged.” said.
Minister Pakdemirli said that in addition to 275 forest fires in Turkey, they also intervened in 219 rural fires. He noted that 15 aircraft, 9 UAVs, 62 helicopters, 1 unmanned helicopter, 850 water tankers and water tankers, 430 construction equipment, and 5 thousand 250 personnel responded to the fires.
Pakdemirli emphasized that the scrub area should be cleaned quickly after the fire.
Stating that the fire in Köyceğiz tends to overflow slightly beyond the valley called "hell stream", Pakdemirli stated that the fire in Bodrum Gümüşlük was also intervened from the air and land.
“WE HAVE A PRODUCTION CAPACITY OF 500 MILLION SEEDLES A YEAR”
Pakdemirli gave the information that according to the climate change report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) within the UN, the effect of climate change on the increase in the number of fires and the rate of progression is quite high, and said:
“As of yesterday, the first part of the IPCC report has been published. The report reveals the speed of global warming and the magnitude of its consequences. The world average temperature has increased by 1,2 degrees since the industrial revolution. The Paris Climate Agreement aims to limit this to 1,5 degrees, but according to the report, this limit will be reached and exceeded within 20 years. With this increase in temperature, rapid and large-scale changes occurred in the climate. The extreme rainfall and flooding, high temperatures and fires we experience are the result of this. We have detailed studies and action plans on all issues in our fields of duty such as water, agriculture and forest on climate change. We update them according to the conditions and clarify our measures within this framework. We have 137 nurseries in order to increase the forest existence in our country. The annual production capacity of the nurseries for afforestation and combating erosion is 500 million saplings. There are 3 billion seeds in the seed stock center. We are making our sapling and seed production plans, taking into account the most difficult days. For the seedling planting season of 2021, we have 1000 million seedlings ready to be planted in 273 different types. We have a strong infrastructure. We rank first in Europe and fourth in the world in afforestation. In the last 4 years, we have risen from the 46th place to the 27th in increasing forest wealth in the world. We also have an infrastructure to strengthen the green homeland.”
THE NEWEST TECHNOLOGY IS USED IN FIGHTING FOREST FIRES
Reminding that the gendarmerie helicopters are in a position to carry bambis in a very short time, Pakdemirli said, “10 gendarmerie helicopters have come to a position to carry water throwing equipment. These are not aircraft that we will use every day, but when we think that acute periods can be experienced again in Turkey, we should be able to reach such easily accessible land, air and human resources forces.” said.
Mentioning that the Ministry uses the latest technologies in the fight against forest fires, Pakdemirli said:
“First aid is extremely important. In such weather, fires are sometimes unpreventable as long as the response process is prolonged. Almost all of the land vehicles belong to us. Sometimes we also use the vehicles of other institutions, such as the fire department. We use whichever method is more economical to catch up with the rapidly changing technology. We buy or rent. Our heroes, who risk their lives to protect every inch of forest, without getting tired and resting, give strength to our entire nation. With the same determination of struggle, we will restore the burned places. We will create a green future from a bad memory. Keep fighting until the last fire goes out, until everything that burns turns green.”
“UP TO 30 PERCENT FRUIT FOREST TREE WILL BE PLANTED”
Pakdemirli stated that the first step in the fight against forest fires is to prevent the outbreak of fire.
Stating that they will afforest the burned forest areas in accordance with the fighting method, Pakdemirli said, “For this purpose, fruit forest trees will also be planted, considering the economic development of forest, wildlife and forest villagers. Safety strips will be created in the afforestation. These lanes will be between 60-80 meters minimum. Fire-resistant species will be planted in bands. Fire protection strips will be created close to settlements.” he said.
Stating that they prefer resistant species in fruit forest trees, Pakdemirli stated that up to 30 percent will be fruit forest trees, and trees such as carob, mahaleb, cypress, hawthorn, pine tree, fig and raspberry will also provide income to the forest villagers.
Emphasizing that the Provincial Directorates of Agriculture and Forestry have mobilized all their means since the first day to heal the wounds in the fire area, Pakdemirli explained that the provincial damage assessment commission keeps the damage records of the farmers affected by the disaster.
Stating that all affected animals are treated free of charge by private and state veterinarians, Pakdemirli said, “Temporary animal hospitals have been established in certain regions, free medical treatment, medicine and supplies are provided. Again, the roughage, concentrate feed, manger, waterer, animal shelter tents that the animals need in the region are carried out under the coordination of the provincial directorates.” he said.
Pakdemirli explained that they will cover all of the destroyed cattle and small ruminant animals as well as the damaged bee hives as a grant to the citizens who were damaged by the fire, and explained that they will also pay a certain amount for agricultural losses in order to continue the agricultural activities.
“NATIONAL PARKS WILL ALSO BE OPEN TO ACCOMMODATION OF BEekeepers”
Minister Pakdemirli continued as follows:
“Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation. It is said that the pine honey is gone, the bees are dead. Since most of the bees are in the highlands, the damage is actually minimal. But how do we go back? When we return, there are questions such as how we will maintain the population here in a healthy way as the forest areas are decreasing. Our beekeepers should not worry, do not be discouraged. We will continue to increase the hive support to beekeepers affected by the fires by 100 percent. We will also provide 30 lira per kilo of honey production support to our pine honey producers that we have identified and continue to be damaged by the fire. We did not allow national parks as an alternative to the pine honey production area, and national parks will be opened to beekeepers.”
Stating that there are such things as "why are planes bought and why planes are leased" in the public opinion, Pakdemirli continued his speech as follows:
“Forest Organization Management, all aircraft except aircraft, fire extinguishing aircraft have been used for more than 30 years, using the rental method for service procurement. It can be inventoried or rented. The purpose of the lease is: Inevitably, the intensity of use of this air concentrates on 3-4 months of the year. The fact that these aircraft lie empty in the remaining 8 months may not make the purchase of this business very practical. Until today, the rental method has been used, but as of 2019, we are conducting a study on taking aircraft into the inventory. We have a feeling that there may be certain risks in seasonal rentals going forward. In this sense, work on purchasing aircraft for the inventory continues. Most of the aircraft have been chartered for 40 years since Özal. The reasoning behind it was that it is more difficult to protect the aircraft and the air fleet, which you have operated for 4 months and will not work in 8 months, to operate it and to employ pilots related to it, and to do these in the public sector. There is also a serious industry related to this. We went out and rented this season as well. There has never been a situation like we couldn't rent enough aircraft for us. There is also a market here. There are also suppliers in Turkey. There are also suppliers who have been serving in this field for more than 20 years. This is how it goes for now. We need to take a look at other stocks that we buy or rent, as well as in the public sector.”