The mayor of the Aegean coastal city of Milas, Muhammet Tokat, on Aug. 3 warned of imminent danger, saying that the wildfires have almost reached the Kemerköy thermal power plant.
"I would not want to say this, but the blaze has for the first time come face to face with the thermal power plant," Tokat tweeted, sharing footage showing the fires racing towards the power plant.
Uyarılarımızın, haykırışlarımızın ne denli haklı olduğunu ciğerimiz yanarak, korkuyla izliyoruz. Bunu söylemek istemezdim ama Termik santralle ateş ilk defa yüz yüze geldi…#milasyanıyor pic.twitter.com/LVlHIgLCGj— Av. Muhammet Tokat (@MuhammetTokat48) August 3, 2021
If the fire indeed reaches the plant, there could be a massive explosion, threatening further fires and even casualties.
An hour later, Tokat posted another tweet, saying: "The situation is very serious. The flames have come to the edge of the thermal power plant."
Sharing another footage showing the blazes, the mayor urged authorities to immediately send a firefighting plane or helicopter with night vision to extinguish the fires.
Medyascope reported that the area around the power plant was being evacuated. It also said that the fire was only 2 km away from the thermal power plant.
Earlier in the day, mayor Tokat tweeted that the fires had reached the residential complexes and the situation had passed the “critical” point.
“The fire has reached the residential complexes. If it goes beyond this hill, then it will reach a whole new dimension,” Tokat tweeted, sharing footage showing the blazes.
Tokat also tweeted that the fire “passed the critical threshold.”
“It was obvious that this would have happened...I am going to cry out of my anger,” he wrote, sharing a picture of massive plumes of smoke.
Eyvah…— Av. Muhammet Tokat (@MuhammetTokat48) August 3, 2021
Yangın kritik eşiği aştı ve siteler tarafına geçti.
Böyle olacağı belliydi…
Sinirimden ağlayacağım… pic.twitter.com/Jw64i04UB0
Tokat's messages came a day after he already warned that there was a danger of uncontrolled fire reaching a thermal plant in Milas.
“We are warning. We are at a critical point here. The fire has been advancing towards residential complexes from the rural areas. Tomorrow (on Aug. 3), this awful fire needs to be stopped by especially providing a full air support. Because if it is not slowed down, I regretfully say that the direction is the thermal plant,” Tokat said on Aug. 2.
Uyarıyoruz; Burada kritik bir noktadayız. Yangın kırsaldan çıkıp sitelere doğru ilerliyor. Yarın özellikle hava desteği tam anlamda sağlanarak bu feci yangının beli karılmalı. Çünkü bu hız alınamazsa üzülerek söylüyorum ki istikamet Termik santral! pic.twitter.com/kFraaZSqUP— Av. Muhammet Tokat (@MuhammetTokat48) August 2, 2021
People have been criticizing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government for depleting the country's firefighting resources over the years.
Thousands also took to social media calling for Erdoğan to step down, while others slammed the lack of resources and what they called inadequate preparations.
The heatwave that has fuelled the fires came after months of exceptionally dry weather in Turkey's southwest, according to maps issued by meteorological authorities.
Data from the European Forest Fire Information Service showed there have been three times as many fires as usual this year, while the more than 136,000 hectares burnt in Turkey were three times the area burnt on average in an entire year.
Eight people have been killed in a total of 156 wildfires which have erupted in the last week.