AFAD Will Try Its Newly Acquired Skills in Forest Fires Drill

AFAD Will Try Its Newly Acquired Skills in Forest Fires Drill
AFAD Will Try Its Newly Acquired Skills in Forest Fires Drill

Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD) President Yunus Sezer, regarding the Forest Fires Drill that will be held jointly in Antalya-based Adana, Mersin and Muğla provinces, said, “With this exercise, we will improve our capacity and cooperation in responding to forest fires, evacuation, shelter, nutrition, all disasters after the fire. It will be a collaborative effort by the groups. We will have the opportunity to try our newly acquired capabilities.”

The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) continues the "2022 Disaster Drill Year" with the "Forest Fires Drill", one of the thematic exercises. The Antalya-based exercise will be held simultaneously in Muğla, Mersin and Adana on May 26. In this context, AFAD President Yunus Sezer and Forestry General Manager Bekir Karacabey made investigations in the regions where the exercise will be held.

Drills Continue

Yunus Sezer, who made a statement after the examinations, reminded that there have been different disasters and loss of life in the last 2 years. Reminding that one of Turkey's biggest forest fires was experienced, Sezer said, “All of us were burned inside and they were extinguished with great efforts. This year has been declared as our disaster drill year. We started with a winter exercise in Erzurum, search and rescue in Diyarbakır, and a major evacuation and shelter exercise in Istanbul last week. This week, together with our General Directorate of Forestry, we planned an exercise with 20 working groups to improve our response capacity and cooperation in forest fires, evacuation, shelter and nutrition after the fire, in which all disaster groups will collaborate. We will do it tomorrow,” he said.

Nearly 5 thousand personnel will be on the field

Noting that they frequently work on combating disasters in a more coordinated manner after the big forest fires last year, Sezer said, “We will conduct an exercise that ensures that our response capacity works in a coordinated manner. This scenario will be implemented in Antalya-based provinces of Muğla, Adana and Mersin. We will transport both personnel and vehicles from 16 provinces. Nearly 5 personnel will be on the field. Disaster and forest volunteers will be on the field. Nearly a thousand of our vehicles will take charge. We will set up a tent where we evacuate, and we will have the opportunity to try our newly acquired abilities in the scenario until the animals are evacuated. We have to make our best preparations,” he said.

Just Stay in Practice

Forestry General Manager Bekir Karacabey noted that they successfully survived the forest fire, which reached the size of a disaster last year. Expressing that forest fires occurred in all countries of the world on the map between July 28 and August 13, 2021, Karacabey said, “In our country, the intensity of burning in the forests was quite high. During that time, 54 separate fires broke out in 747 different cities. We put out all of these fires within 15 days. On the same date, there was a fire in California in the USA, it lasted 105 days. With this exercise, we will review our preparations for fires that may occur in different provinces of our country and more than once at the same time. Let this always remain as an exercise and there will not be a fire like last year," he said.

Human Origin

Underlining the need to be prepared for fires such as earthquakes, Karacabey said, “It is possible to prevent fires, 90 percent of fires are human-induced. 10% is caused by lightning. I urge our citizens to be sensitive.”

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