A fast-spreading forest fire broke out in Gülnar, a district of the Mediterranean Turkish province of Mersin on Wednesday. Firefighters rushed to the area in a rural part of Gülnar. Authorities evacuated some 30 houses in the path of the flames as a precaution.
Eleven firefighting planes, 29 helicopters, 138 fire trucks and 850 personnel were deployed to the area to battle the fire. Crews arrived from nearby provinces to assist Mersin’s firefighters while locals were mobilized to help them, along with soldiers. The Ministry of National Defense announced nine military helicopters were dispatched to help with the efforts complicated by strong winds.
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Gülnar Mayor Alpaslan Ünüvar, who helped firefighters pull hoses to the burning area, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that aerial intervention was possible despite strong winds and expressed hope “for extinguishing the fire.” Evacuees were accommodated at two high schools in the district while firefighters strived to cool off the surroundings of the evacuated houses to prevent flames from reaching them. They were also struggling to prevent it from reaching the Mersin-Antalya highway, a busy Mediterranean route connecting the southern provinces of top vacation destination Antalya which itself suffered from one of the worst forest fires in Türkiye’s recent history in 2021.
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