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Wildfire rage in southwest Iran


Source: Tehran Times

The Planning and Budget Organization approved 150 billion rials (nearly $3.5 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) for the provision of equipment and flight services to extinguish a wildfire in southwestern provinces. Wildfire broke out on Thursday evening in several protected areas in the provinces of Khuzestan, Bushehr, Lorestan, Kohgiluyeh, and Boyer-Ahmad, including Khaeez protected area. The stretch, measuring 28,000 hectares, is one of the main habitats for wild goats. Being impassable has made any fire-fighting operation almost impossible and only helicopters could reach the area.

See photos by ISNA here and here

Fierce winds, high latitude, high vegetation, and the lack of equipment and manpower have made firefighting operations much more difficult.

Ranging wildfire also swept through Ilam and Kordestan provinces, which have damaged old oak trees and part of the region's vegetation.

Following fire ignition in different parts of Gachsaran County, three planes of Masjed-e-Soleiman Air Force have been sent to the area to extinguish the wildfire burning forests and rangelands.

Daryoush Moradi, head of the rescue team dispatched by the Army told IRNA that two helicopters have made six flights to heights of Khaeez Mountain where the forest fire continues.

He said that over 30 rescue workers have been taken to put out the fire, and some 175 residents have been evacuated. 

Some 300 hectares of forests and rangelands in Gachsaran county turned into ashes, as well as 200 hectares of forests in Kohgilouyeh, IRNA news agency reported.

The firefighting operation in the protected areas of Khaeez has left 6 injured so far.

The Ministry of Agriculture has obliged the Forests, Range, and Watershed Management Organization to cooperate with the Ministry of Defense to extinguish fires.

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