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2 Ukrainian planes supporting efforts to battle forest fires in Turkey

2 Ukrainian planes supporting efforts to battle forest fires in Turkey
Ukrainian pilot who previously vacationed in Turkey now helping to bring blazes under control

By Hatice Ozdemir Tosun and Yunus Ugur

ANTALYA, Turkey (AA) – Two planes from Ukraine are contributing to the aerial response against multiple wildfires in Turkey.

Air and land intervention continues against the fires, which have broken out in various locations and have spread with the wind.

Efforts are being made to bring the fires under control with a large number of firefighting planes, helicopters and construction equipment.

But this has proven to be difficult in the mountainous regions of Antalya and Mugla provinces due to high temperatures and low humidity.

Countries such as Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Croatia and Spain have also mobilized their resources to bring the fires under control in a short time.

At least eight people have lost their lives in the wildfires.

- Planes to stay in Turkey for 10 days

The two firefighting aircraft from Ukraine arrived with a team of 14 people. The planes of the Ukraine Emergency State Service began operating in Antalya, where fires continue and threaten residential areas.

Planes deployed to Gazipasa Airport in Antalya are responding to fires in the city districts of Manavgat, Alanya, Akseki and Gundogmus.

The planes that will serve in Turkey for 10 days and have four replaceable water tanks of 2,000 liters.

The aircraft, which can discharge water from all of their tanks simultaneously, play an active role in firefighting.

Since the beginning of the operation, 34 flights have been carried out by the planes to the areas affected by the fires and 272 tons of water have been discharged.

-‘We are here to help the Turkish people’

One of the pilots, Kostiantyn Kolomin, told Anadolu Agency that he had come to Turkey on vacation before. This time, however, he said he came to help battle the fires.

Kolomin said he was sad to see the region where he had been on holiday now exposed to flames.

Noting that there was a big fire in “friendly country Turkey,” he said: “We are here to help the Turkish people.”

“We are trying to do our job in the best way possible.”

Noting that it was difficult for land crews to reach the areas where the fires broke out, Kolomin said aircrews are more effective in extinguishing them.

He hoped that they can “save the Turkish people from the fires as soon as possible and we will come here for a holiday again.”

-Turkish-Ukrainian cooperation ‘to always continue’

Fatih Duzgun, the coordinating pilot of the Ukrainian planes, said it was a difficult process.

“We thank the friendly country Ukraine and its people for their support,” Duzgun said.

“Turkey has always supported Ukraine, and Ukraine is with Turkey today.

“The cooperation between the two countries will always continue,” he added.

source: News Feed
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