Wildfire reaches Turkey power plant, prompts evacuations
A coal-fueled power plant in southwest Turkey and nearby residential areas were being evacuated Wednesday evening as flames from a wildfire reached the plant, a mayor and local reporters said as sirens from the plant could be heard blaring.
Milas Mayor Muhammet Tokat, from main opposition party, has been warning of the fire risks for the past two days for the Kemerkoy power plant in Mugla province. He said late Wednesday that the plant was being evacuated. Local reporters said the wildfires had also prompted the evacuation of the nearby seaside area of Oren.
Defense ministry said it was evacuating people by sea as the fires neared the plant. The state broadcaster TRT said the flames had “jumped” to the plant. Strong winds were making the fires unpredictable.
Authorities have said safety precautions had been taken at the Kemerkoy power plant and its hydrogen tanks were emptied. TRT said flammable and explosive substances had been removed. The privately run plant uses lignite to generate electricity, according to its website.
Videos from the area showed bright orange, burning hills with power towers and lines crisscrossing the foreground. Pro-government news channel A Hbr broadcasting live from near the evacuated power plant late Wednesday said firefighters were working inside the compound cooling equipment and dousing sparks in an effort to keep the fire away. The channel’s crew showed an incinerated police water cannon.
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