Forest fire lingers on second day in southern Türkiye.


A forest fire that erupted on Wednesday continued into Thursday in Mersin, a Mediterranean Turkish province. Firefighters assisted by airplanes and helicopters were working to tackle the spreading blaze, worsened by strong winds.

The cause of the fire which broke out in the Gülnar district is not yet known but an investigation is underway. The blaze spread to a rural neighborhood in the neighboring Silifke district despite efforts to contain it, forcing authorities to evacuate a gas station, a rest stop and some residences in the area. Throughout Wednesday night, three helicopters fitted with night vision systems intervened but the flames still quickly spread. A highway connecting Mersin to the province of Antalya was shut down as a temporary precaution and reopened on Thursday.

As flames encroached on residential areas, authorities evacuated some 790 people in 303 housing units in the area while firefighters from nearby provinces and helicopters from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) provided assistance to local crews.

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Authorities also shut down the power in seven neighborhoods in Gülnar and Silifke to prevent more fires.

Mersin Governor Ali Hamza Pehlivan told reporters late on Wednesday that strong winds caused the fire to prevail and that fire trucks, airplanes and helicopters have been deployed to the area. “We also received support from police trucks equipped with water cannons,” he said. Pehlivan said evacuees were being accommodated at guest houses in the province. The governor said there were no casualties but seven people responding to the fire were slightly injured. He also noted that the fire has not damaged any buildings besides an abandoned structure in the forest.





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