June sees fivefold increase in forest fires in Türkiye

In June, record-breaking temperatures across various cities in Türkiye have led to a fivefold increase in forest fires compared to last year.

The General Directorate of Forestry emphasized the need for protective measures and cautioned against behaviors that would spark forest fires, such as stubble burning and improper disposal of cigarette butts.

Meteorology expert Orhan Şen highlighted the critical situation and stated, "Temperatures are high. We are only experiencing this in June and July, August and September are ahead," referring to the warmer temperatures experienced in those months.

"The Aegean, Mediterranean, Eastern, Southeastern, Marmara and Thrace regions, including Çanakkale, are above 40 degrees Celsius."

According to measurements made with the Copernicus satellite monitoring system of the EU, with March, April and May being the hottest months all over the world, the spring of 2024 went down in history as the "hottest spring of all time."

Şen added that low humidity, high temperatures and wind speeds above 40 kilometers per hour significantly increase the risk of forest fires.

Former undersecretary of the Environment, Urbanization and Climate Ministry Mustafa Öztürk stressed that 95 percent of forest fires are human-caused.

"When there is high temperature and low humidity, dry grass, stubble and agricultural fields burn like kindling," he explained.

Öztürk also pointed out the detrimental effects on agricultural productivity and stated, "Water retention capacity of stubble-burned soils decreases and the need for water increases. Agricultural production efficiency decreased by 30 percent."

Recent fires in various regions have caused extensive damage.

In the west, a fire in İzmir's...

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