Thursday, 23 June 2022
The battle to quell the fire which broke out on Tuesday afternoon in Mersinlik in the Kantara region and fanned by strong winds, continued by air this morning, Yeniduzen reported.
At 06.10 today President Ersin Tatar stated that firefighting on the ground had continued throughout the night, and the aerial response began again in coordination with ground crews in the early hours of the morning.
Visiting the coordination centre established in Ardahan, President Tatar in a statement to the Turkish Agency Cyprus (TAK), said that all relevant units are on duty and that they are fighting the flames with great determination and self-sacrifice.
Noting that there was great concern in Ardahan and Topçuköy because of the wind, President Tatar emphasised that even at 03.00 the tractors were running and had prevented the spread of the fire to these two villages.
Tatar noted that those who were evacuated from Mersinlik village were placed in a hotel in Kaplıca.
Stating that an area of 7-8 kilometres in the Ardahan-Topçuköy-Mersinlik triangle had been affected by the fire, President Tatar said that the flames continued in places, and that fire-fighting planes and helicopters from Turkey and the south continued to intervene from the air. Helicopters from the British bases and a firefighting plane from Israel may be deployed in the firefighting efforts within the next few hours, Tatar said.
At 07.00 a British helicopter from the British Bases, one helicopter from Turkey and two planes from the Republic of Cyprus began responding to the fire.
Noting that all relevant units, the Minister of Agriculture, the District Governor of Iskele, the Fire Brigade units, the Civil Defence Organisation, the commanders, the corps, are working from the coordination centre, President Tatar stated that he personally presided over these works yesterday and today. “Unfortunately, a large area was burned. However, it is our consolation that there were no casualties. [Four people including a firefighter were taken to hospital yesterday suffering from smoke inhalation. Ed.] Our state is here with all its means, and what is necessary is being done and will be done“, he said.
The Mayor of Iskele Hasan Sadıkoğlu said that at least 10 thousand acres of land had been affected by the fire.
At 08.30 Iskele District Governor Ertuğrul Toroslu attended a BRT Special Broadcast and evaluated the latest situation.
Toroslu noted that the fire was advancing in the east due to the effect of the wind, and that they aimed to prevent it.
Toroslu said that with the light of day, the effective response to the fire from both land and air continues.
The Director of the Forestry Department, Cemil Karzaoğlu, announced that significant progress had been made with support from firefighting aircraft. Speaking to Kanal Sim, Karzaoğlu said, “The meteorology report was that the wind may rise again in the afternoon, we aim to extinguish the fire by noon“.