Statistics released by the government show that many of the forest fires in Turkey begin due to lack of care for the forests demonstrated by people who randomly dump garbage in wooded areas, leaving flammable materials behind. Last year, 11,332 hectares of forest were lost to fires.
Firefighters fought 2,688 forest fires last year. Figures by the General Directorate of Forestry (OGM) show that the cause of a majority of them was undetermined but 883 fires stemmed from “negligence,” while 372 were sparked by natural causes. Another 124 fires were the result of sabotage, according to the investigations.
Negligence led to the devastation of 6,529 hectares of forest, according to figures compiled by Anadolu Agency (AA).
The government, meanwhile, stepped up its fight against forest fires by providing better firefighting equipment for firefighters, including thousands of new boots and fire trucks, while it rented 30 firefighting helicopters to aid efforts to contain fires.
From 2015 to 2019, firefighters battled an average of 2,521 fires each year while gradually increasing their response time, which currently stands at 12 minutes.