Long lasting flames hitting Hour al-Azim extinguished

July 26, 2018

TEHRAN – The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force (IRGC AF) has managed to extinguish wildfire haunting Hour al-Azim wetland for about three weeks, said the commander of IRGC AF.

Hour al-Azim, a transboundary body of water shared between Iran and Iraq, has been hit by wildfire originated mainly in the Iraqi part of the wetland since July 2.

IRGC AF dispatched two helicopters to put out the fire in Hour al-Azim on July 18, IRIB quoted Shamsoddin Farzadipoor as saying on Tuesday.

The fire raging Hour al-Azim wetland has been extinguished completely, despite its wide extent, he added.

He also stated that by making arrangements with Iraqi armed forces, the necessary permits have been issued on July 19, and IRGC AF forces using satellite imagery have taken many operations to combat the wildfire.

Given the harmful effects smoke rising from the fire had on southwestern Iran’s residents, all the capacities have been used to take measures to put out the fire to prevent the threats posing to the people and environment, he further explained.

Currently, all measures needed to prevent the fire from reigniting is being taken to ensure the complete fire extinguishment, he concluded.

Kiamars Hajizadeh, director general of disaster management department of Khuzestan province has also said that over the past 6 days the fire was contained by using helicopters for aerial firefighting. 

“Fire in some 95 percent of the canebrakes is now extinguished,” Mehr news agency qouted Hajizadeh as saying on Wednesday. 

However, due to the high temperatures there is still a chance for fire to erupt in the Iraqi part of the wetland again. 

The wildfire belching out choking smoke involved many cities of Iran, including Ahvaz, Howeyzeh, Mahshahr, Susangerd, Bostan and even Shadegan in the province.

Banks and offices were closed down and some were forced to leave the city to escape the choking smoke. 

Earlier this week, deputy director for department of environment at Khuzestan province Adel Mola said that wildfire also poses serious threats to the region’s biodiversity, as the Euphrates softshell turtle specie in Hour al-Azim wetland, which is on the verge of extinction, has been severely endangered, Mehr reported.

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