‘Wildfire during Noruz holidays unprecedented’

April 5, 2018 - 18:29

TEHRAN – Wildfire swept through some 150 hectares of forests across northern Iran during Noruz holidays (March 21 – April 2), said an official with Forests, Range, and Watershed Management Organization, noting that the extent of fire was unprecedented for the last decade.

Nearly 10 percent of the area have been severely burnt, ILNA quoted Qasem Sabz’ali as saying on Wednesday.

The measures adopted for extinguishing fire prevented serious damage to tree trunks in other parts of the forests, he added.

He went on to say that wildfire happened in all the three northern provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan during Noruz holidays, adding that Gilan had the largest share.

Also sporadic wildfires have been reported in the southeastern province of Kerman, the central province of Isfahan and the southern province of Fars provinces. Fortunately, the mentioned firings were not huge and serious, Sabz’ali said.

All of these fires have been caused by humans, he highlighted, adding that weather conditions and strong winds aggravated the situation.

“Creating culture [of preserving the environment] is our biggest challenge in the country,” he emphasized. “Even if an officer is put beside each tree, forests will still burn unless the appropriate culture is established among the public.”

As soon as domestic travels kick off, so do wildfires, he regretted.

Referring to attempts made to implement laws reducing fires in forest, the commander hoped for imposition of heavier fines for offenders to prevent further wildfires.

Some 15,000 hectares of forests burn in wildfires annually in Iran, while 95 percent of these are caused by humans, ISNA quoted Sabz’ali as saying.

Tips for preventing wildfire

According to National Geographic, you can adopt these measures to prevent wildfires.

Never leave a fire unattended. Completely extinguish the fire—by dousing it with water and stirring the ashes until cold—before sleeping or leaving the campsite.

When camping, take care when using and fueling lanterns, stoves, and heaters. Make sure lighting and heating devices are cool before refueling. Avoid spilling flammable liquids and store fuel away from appliances.

Do not discard cigarettes, matches, and smoking materials from moving vehicles, or anywhere on park grounds. Be certain to completely extinguish cigarettes before disposing of them.

Follow local ordinances when burning yard waste. Avoid backyard burning in windy conditions, and keep a shovel, water, and fire retardant nearby to keep fires in check. Remove all flammables from yard when burning.

Also don’t leave any kind of glass in the forest since they focus light in one point which can start a fire no time soon.


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