Local reporters and the Mayor of Milas, Muhammet Tokat, said they evacuated a coal-fueled power plant in southwest Turkey and the corresponding residential area because the wildfire reached the power plant. For the last two days, Tokat received a warning for the Kemerkoy power plant in Mugla province.
Late Wednesday, he said that the rescue and security forces evacuated the plant and neighboring seaside of Oren. Hulusi Akar, the Turkish Minister of Defense, stated that teams are evacuating individuals by sea as the fires reached the plant. On the other hand, strong winds in the region were making the wildfire unpracticable.
Over 10,000 evacuated after Turkey #wildfire blazes for 8th continuous day.
The wildfire reaches inside the coal-fuelled power plant in Southwest #Turkey.
Nearby residents are being evacuated from boats.
Choppers are continuously filling buckets to douse flames.#Turkeyisburning pic.twitter.com/vIkdwghrQr
— Indian News Network (@Indiannewsnetw2) August 5, 2021
According to the plant authorities, they already took the safety precautions at the Kemerkoy power plant, and they also emptied the hydrogen tanks. In addition, the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) said that authorities removed explosive and flammable substances amid the approaching fires. The plant is privately run, and it uses brown coal to generate electricity.
People are sharing videos of the area on social media platforms, revealing burning hills with bright orange colors and lines overlapping the foreground. A Hbr, the pro-government news station broadcasting live from nearby the evacuated power plant, stated that firemen were working in the compound to cool equipment and soak fire sparks to keep the wildfire away. Furthermore, the reporters of the channel showed a burnt water cannon of police.
Turkish President Accused Opposition of Terror of Lies
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, said during the live talk on A Hbr that the power plant was at risk of burning due to the wildfire. Three federal ministers oversaw the developments, and the administration added helicopters and planes took part in the operation to control the fires. However, the mayor said that the air support came rarely and just focused on the nearer flames across the power plant rather than combating the broader fires in the area and the shifting winds fanned the fires.
Moreover, the wildfires of Turkey turned into a partisan issue. The Turkish president accused the opposition of a terror of lies criticizing the lack of satisfactory aerial firefighting capabilities, including the insufficient preparation for large-scale fires in Turkey. Erdogan also held responsible the municipalities for protecting people and towns from wildfires and said that the responsibility not only falls on the federal government.
The Turkish Foundation released a report in 2020 for Combating Soil Erosion revealed that fifty-eight of the forests of Turkey licensed to mines. Around fifty-nine percent of Mugla designated for mines. A heatwave across southern Europe led to wildfire all over the Mediterranean, including in Greece and Italy. Moreover, according to the forecasts, the heatwave estimates are to continue in Greece and Turkey until the weekend.