Forest Fires Causes, Effects, Monitoring, Precautions and Rehabilitation Activities

Legal Gaps in The Wildland-Urban Interface Areas

Our forests, which covers approximately 29% of our country’s land and have about 23 million hectares area, are under the continuous threat of natural or man-made fires. Fire disasters are constantly emerged in regions under the influence on Mediterranean climate such as Mediterranean, Aegean and Marmara coasts which are the important part of our country. It is very important to take some measures to reduce the effects of fires that may occur as a result of the natural growth processes of forest ecosystems in the Mediterranean climate type. Especially the forests in the southern and western parts of our country are very close to the residential districts. Villages in the forest and on the edge of the forest and facilities related to tourism, garbage storage and industrial activities are in close interaction with forest area. For this reason, these fires may damage not only our forests but also the surrounding settlements and facilities. Uncontrolled construction and human activities in such areas can cause environments that make fire management difficult by affecting the amount of combustible material and its distribution characteristics. Considering that approximately 12 million hectares of our forest area is located in fire-sensitive areas, the “Rehabilitation of Burnt Forest Areas and Establishment of Fire-Resistant Forests Project” (YARDOP) was revised and put forward in 2014 within the scope of Circular Letter No. 6976 in order to increase the resistance of these areas towards forest fires. In this context, some studies have been recently carried out in many regions within the scope of YARDOP. The fire prevention facilities at the intersection zones of residential districts and forest lands were defined and main topics to be considered in related studies were also specified in YARDOP document. Some legal and administrative regulations are required to increase the effectiveness of fire management activities for the disaster prevention to be carried out at the wildland and urban interface areas. In this study, first of all, the basic topics about the legal situation of the forestry areas are mentioned, the basic issues about the YARDOP studies are introduced. Then, legal gaps for the wildland and urban interface areas are analyzed and some suggestions were made in this context.

Prof. Mustafa Yanalak, Assoc. Prof. Cumhur Güngöroğlu, Öğr. Gör. Mehmet İşiler
DOI: 10.53478/TUBA.2021.053