Saturday, 28 May 2022
A fire, which broke out in the Geçitköy region at noon on Friday and fanned by the wind, spread to an area of around one thousand acres threatening the homes of local communities, was brought under control after about five hours, BRT reported.
An investigation into the cause of the fire revealed that the fire broke at three different locations because of overhead electric cables touching.
The Kyrenia – Güzelyurt main road, which was closed to traffic due to the fire, was reopened at around 8pm on Friday evening.
All units and locals were mobilised to fight the fire, which scorched trees, maquis and some houses, while firefighting aircraft were deployed from Turkey and the British Bases. Cooling work continues by land and air.
The wind spread the fire to the area known as “Blue Kiosk” and then to the residential area known as “Santos Villas”, where residents were evacuated as a precaution.
Three houses were damaged after the fire spread to Tepebaşı. A local was injured after losing his balance and falling on an iron spike, it was reported.
Many people were affected by inhalation of dense smoke and were taken by ambulance to local health centres.
Recalling the great forest fire in Tepebaşı in 2020, anxious Tepebaşı residents watched as teams of people, fire trucks and municipal water tankers were mobilised conveying water to the fire area non-stop.
It was stated that the fire that broke out between Tepebaşı and Kalkanlı in May 2020 was the “biggest forest fire after the 1995 fire“, when 7,500 acres, including the ancient olive trees, were burned.
President Ersin Tatar, who made a statement after making an inspection of the fire damage in Geçitköy by air from a military helicopter said; “According to the initial findings, the burning of an area of more than 700 acres in the fire in the Geçitköy region burned our lungs, we are very sorry“.
He went on to commend the efforts of all institutions and organisations that participated in the fire-fighting effort. These included the fire brigade, the forest department, police, soldiers, the Civil Defence Organisation, teams from the regional municipalities and local villagers. Two helicopters and one plane were sent from Turkey, he said. He added that water had been conveyed from the Geçitköy Reservoir by two firefighting helicopters deployed from the British Bases.
The president joined in the call for everyone to take special care during the summer months when fires are easily started.