Shipping activity in the bustling Dardanelles Strait of North-Western Türkiye was halted on Tuesday as a result of an adjacent forest fire.

“Ship traffic in the Dardanelles was temporarily suspended in one direction, north-south, due to the continuation of the forest fire,” the country’s Directorate General of Coastal Safety (KEGM) said yesterday, after large forest fires have been affecting ship traffic.

Ships were temporarily barred on Tuesday from passing due to the fire, said the statement.

The country’s Directorate General of Coastal Safety also issued an advisory yesterday mentioning that Türkiye suspended southbound vessel traffic in the Dardanelles Strait because of raging forest fires.

Upon an alert, a large number of firefighter teams and water tenders were dispatched to the burning area, where the wind caused the flames to grow.

The work continues to extinguish the forest fire that started on Tuesday in Eceabat district of Çanakkale, wrote in a short statement Türkiye’s National Defense Ministry.

The fire began earlier in the day, with nine water-carrying planes, six helicopters and firefighters drafted in to tackle the blaze, Turkish Agriculture Minister Ibrahim Yumakli wrote on X.

“Once again, a fire started during a stubble burning then spread to a forest,” he said.

Türkiye’s National Defense Ministry said the military had deployed two helicopters, a fire truck and personnel to fight the blaze.

“Let’s not forget that heavy penalties and sanctions are imposed on those who cause forest fires. The self-sacrificing struggle of our forest heroes throughout the night is supported by our air power in daylight,” Agriculture Minister Ibrahim Yumakli added in his message on X (former twitter).