The forest fires on the southern coast of Turkey have now entered their sixth day. With a 44-degree heat in the shade and still weather conditions, the Side-bon Veli Octave is worrying.
When the wind is less, it will be easier to turn it off, he says.
He has lived in Turkey for twelve years, but has never witnessed anything like the fires now raging on the country’s southern coast.
“It’s the worst thing I’ve been through in these twelve years, and after that I still have earthquakes,” he says.
He saw people desperately trying to put out the fire with water hoses.
But they are like little needles in a big haystack, they don’t help but people want to protect their homes and their animals.
Farms, fields, olive trees and livestock were burnt and at least eight people were found dead in the fire in Turkey.
Willy Octave describes high flames extending towards the sky, which should be a clear blue.
– But it is not, but it is like a mist of smoke.
Many want help
A few days ago, the fire was on its way to the city of Side, but helicopters and planes worked intensively to extinguish and prevent it.
Are you ready to evacuate?
– No, I didn’t have that feeling. But if they had said so, I would have done it right away, he says.
On Monday, Willy Octave is 20 km from the nearest fire. It is very dry in the ground and there is a great concern that particles of fire flying in the air will start new fires.
– The municipality is trying to water the dry land where they think particles can land, he says.
He has been sleeping poorly for the past four nights and hasn’t been in his optics store for several days. Instead, he focuses on helping by transporting water, food, and clothing to those who have lost their homes in the fire and need assistance.
The people are incredibly helpful.
Vacationers helped carry water to the villages. The municipality has begun collecting donations for those who have lost everything and no money is needed, according to Willy Octave.
– Without the necessary underwear and clothing. People had to run away from there without anything.
Read more: Two firefighters killed in Turkey
“I’ve been on guard every night”
Olivia Moutonen from Wienersburg spends the summer with her boyfriend in his apartment in Manavgat, one of the areas most affected by the fires.
She describes restless nights where she and her boyfriend woke up several times from the smoke of a fire.
I coughed and felt it in both your eyes and nose, says Olivia Moutonen.
One morning I rushed to the hotel in Side where she was working in a panic because there was so much smoke outside the apartment that it was hard to tell where it was coming from.
– So it’s like you’re just a little sober every night because you never know when and where the burn starts.
The backpack containing important items such as passports and money is packed and ready in case it needs to be evacuated. She said the people who shared the photos and warnings on social media have been an unexpectedly good help in tracking where you’re burning.
But Olivia Moutonin was not so close that she saw the fire with her own eyes.
– I’m grateful that I did as I already did.
On Monday, I felt that the situation seemed calmer and the authority seemed to have many fires under control.
In two weeks, the plan is for she and her boyfriend to get married.
It feels a bit uncertain if he’ll get rid of him and how he’ll get rid of in this case, she says.
“Unapologetic writer. Bacon enthusiast. Introvert. Evil troublemaker. Friend of animals everywhere.”