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Friday, September 24, 2021

Fire that reached Turkey power plant contained, others burn

Strong winds drove the fire toward the Kemerkoy power plant in Mugla province late Wednesday, prompting evacuations from the nearby seaside resort of Oren. Navy vessels were deployed to help ferry away residents.

By: AP | Ankara |
Updated: August 5, 2021 5:48:31 pm
Flames and smoke rises from mountains in Orhaniye village near Marmaris, Turkey. (Photo: Reuters)

A wildfire that reached the compound of a coal-fueled power plant in southwest Turkey and forced nearby residents to flee in boats and cars was contained on Thursday after raging for some 11 hours, officials and media reports said.

Strong winds drove the fire toward the Kemerkoy power plant in Mugla province late Wednesday, prompting evacuations from the nearby seaside resort of Oren. Navy vessels were deployed to help ferry away residents, while cars formed long convoys on roads leading away from the area, Haberturk television reported.

People are evacuated by boats after wildfires reached the Kemerkoy Power Plant, a coal-fueled power plant, in Milas in southwest Turkey, late Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. (AP Photo)

Turkey’s worst wildfires in decades have raged for nine days amid scorching heat, low humidity and constantly shifting strong winds. The fires have so far killed eight people and countless animals.

A Spanish firefighting plane pours water on a fire near the Kemerkoy Power Plant, a coal-fueled power plant, in Milas, Mugla in southwest Turkey, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. (AP Photo)

In coastal Mugla province, where tourist hot spot Bodrum is located, fires continued to burn in six areas on Thursday, officials said. Fires also raged in five districts of Antalya province, another tourism destination, where two neighborhoods were evacuated on Wednesday.

People run away from the fire-devastated Sirtkoy village, near Manavgat, Antalya, Turkey. (AP Photo)

Precautions were taken before the flames reached the Kemerkoy power plant. The plants hydrogen tanks were emptied, and workers were evacuated. Flammable and explosive substances had also been removed, according to state broadcaster TRT.

People watch a wildfire burning the forest in Turgut village, near tourist resort of Marmaris, Mugla, Turkey, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. (AP Photo)

Turkish presidential communications director Fahrettin Altun said an initial inspection of the power plant showed its main units suffered no serious damage. The privately run plant uses lignite to generate electricity, according to its website.

Television images showed dozens of fire trucks and water tankers surrounding the plant’s main building, some dousing water as part of a cooling effort. The main building did not appear to have been affected.

Firefighters had been working for two days to protect the power plant from advancing flames. Videos from an adjacent neighborhood in Milas showed charred, decimated trees.

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