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Wildfires in Turkey: Is it safe to proceed with your travel plans?

Turkish firefighters on Tuesday faced a challenging battle against a forest fire near the famous tourist resort of Kemer, located

By Ground Report
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Wildfires in Turkey: Is it safe to proceed with your travel plans?

Turkish firefighters on Tuesday faced a challenging battle against a forest fire near the famous tourist resort of Kemer, located in the southern province of Antalya. The rapidly spreading fire ripped through the region's forests, fueled by high winds and low humidity, as temperatures soared due to an intense summer heat wave.

Authorities from the Antalya governor's office reported their efforts to fight the fire from the ground and air, deploying 10 planes, 22 helicopters and more than 200 vehicles in the firefighting operation. Tragically, the fire consumed approximately 120 hectares of forest in the Kemer area.

The situation remained critical as forest fires continued to devastate various areas of the Mediterranean. In Algeria, 34 people lost their lives due to forest fires, and the Greek island of Rhodes saw numerous tourists evacuate in response to the spreading inferno.

The Antalya local authorities took all necessary precautions to protect residential areas from the advance of the flames, ensuring the safety of residents and visitors. As a precautionary measure, the Kemer State Hospital was evacuated and six people were hospitalized due to smoke inhalation.

Notably, other parts of Turkey were also affected by fires, with fires reported in southeastern Hatay, Mersin provinces and Canakkale province in recent weeks. Authorities continue to grapple with the devastating impact of these wildfires and are working tirelessly to contain and extinguish them.

Is it safe to travel to Turkey right now?

Amid the ongoing wildfires in Turkey, the Foreign Office has not issued any travel advisories against visiting the country. However, they recommend ensuring you possess "appropriate travel insurance" that covers emergencies and potential hotel evacuations.

Forest fires are common in Turkey during the summer, so visitors are advised to exercise caution when visiting or driving through woodland areas. Lighting fires of any kind, including barbeques, in restricted areas can lead to fines or imprisonment. Discarding cigarette butts in wooded regions is also prohibited.

In the event of a forest fire in your vicinity, local authorities may instruct you to evacuate your accommodation. It is essential to follow their instructions diligently. If you witness a forest fire, contact emergency services immediately by dialing 112.

As the situation in Turkey remains dynamic, the Foreign Office's advice may change, necessitating regular checks on their website for the latest updates.

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