15 million hectares at risk, 6 percent from sabotage


Lerato Khumalo

Turkey is struggling with fires with the arrival of summer. The causes of the fires are sometimes explained as cigarette butts, sometimes a spark and sometimes stubble, while fires caused by electric wires, wind, picnic fires and sabotage are among the other causes. According to the reports prepared by the Western Mediterranean Branch of the Turkish Foresters Association, it is emphasized that more than 90 percent of the forest fires in Turkey are caused by negligence and errors due to stubble burning, cigarettes, picnics, shepherd fires and burning garbage. It is emphasized that 6 percent of the fires are caused by intention or sabotage, 5 percent are caused by the purpose of opening up settlements or fields, and it is emphasized that the ratio of Energy Transmission Lines (ENH) to all fires is 3.9 percent. According to the data reflected in the reports, an average of 10 thousand hectares of land is burned in forest fires that occur in Turkey every year, and the time to intervene in forest fires is calculated as 11 minutes.

According to statistics from the last 20 years, an average of 7 to 10 thousand hectares of land were burned every year in forest fires in Turkey.


While experts point out that an area of ​​15 million hectares, almost two-thirds of the forests in Turkey, which is located in the Mediterranean climate zone, is under fire threat, Fire Safety Expert and Turkish Fire Prevention Association Board Member Levent Yasa stated that experts appointed by the courts are investigating the cause of the fire, saying, “Every fire leaves traces behind.”

Explaining that the fire starting area is the V-shaped area in closed areas and the area with the whitest ashes in open areas, Yasa said, “Fires, especially in closed areas, are caused by electrical leaks, chemical substances or malicious actions. Electrical system controls should be examined to detect such fires, and field experience is required to correctly identify ignition sources. said.


Burdur Mehmet Akif Ersoy University Faculty Member Prof. Dr. Ali Kavgacı made the following statements regarding the causes of the fire:

“The people in the commission investigating the causes of the fire are people appointed by the judiciary. The commission includes a fire expert, fire department personnel, and academics who are experts on fire. These experts first apply to the court and wait for their appointment. While the cause of some fires can be determined in an hour, the investigation of others can take months. For example, “Situations such as a fire being started deliberately or a fire being caused by a discarded cigarette butt are determined directly by eyewitnesses or as a result of reports.”

15 million hectares at risk, 6 percent of which is due to sabotage - Picture : 2
Eyewitness testimonies are important in fires.


The wrangler continued his warnings as follows:

“If there is an energy transmission line at the point where the fire broke out and there is evidence on the line that caused the fire, “Definitive records can be made regarding the cause of the fire. Beyond these, if there is no evidence to directly reveal the cause of the fire, the fires are recorded as unsolved. In cases where forest fires occur in places far from residential areas, determining the cause of the fire becomes quite difficult. It is seen that the number of unsolved fires is quite high in the statistics in our country.”

(email protected)