503 forest fires scorch 1,344 acres of Turkish land in a month: report

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A scene from İzmir forest fire. PHOTO: AA

Turkey has experienced 503 forest fires in the last month, according to the Habertürk news website, destroying 1,344 hectares of land.

A total of 1,345 forest fires have erupted since the beginning of the year, the report said.

A large forest fire starting on Sunday in İzmir province damaged some 500 hectares of land.

İzmir Mayor Tunç Soyer on Monday announced plans for the reforestation of the area as soon as possible with the help of the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry.

Emin Korkmaz, chairman of the board of the Turkish Union of Engineers and Architects Chambers (TMMOB), criticized state officials for privatizing the firefighting business, adding that firefighting aircraft were not used in the İzmir forest fire.

The ministry denied Korkmaz’s allegations, which were also raised by opposition deputies.

According to the report, 60 percent of forests in Turkey are at risk of fire due to heat waves and drought.

Experts argue that more than 90 percent of forest fires were caused by humans.

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