Iran’s DOE to launch rapid response programs in fire-prone areas

May 4, 2019

TEHRAN — With the onset of the warm season Iran’s Department of Environment (DOE) has ordered initiating rapid response programs in fire-prone areas across the country.

Headquarters for rapid response programs to address wildfires was established in the year 1394 (March 2015-March 2016) in Iran and every year and once the hot weather sets in and increases chances of wildfires the rapid response programs to extinguish the fire in various provinces nationwide will be carried out, Hamid Zohrabi, DOE deputy chief for natural environment and biodiversity directorate explained.

In the current year (started on March 21), above-normal precipitation and increased vegetation covers can dramatically heighten the risks of wildfires, however, due to slower-than-usual temperature rise in many regions in the country it is projected that wildfire season might be delayed, Mehr news agency quoted Zohrabi as saying on Wednesday.

Nonetheless the number of wildfires and their gravity could be worse than previous years, he warned.

The deputy environment chief went on to say that some 16 rapid response units are now equipped with helicopters for aerial firefighting.

Moreover, as per a memorandum of understanding with Ministry of Defense DOE will be provided with five aircrafts fitted with water tanks to respond to wildfires, he highlighted.

He further urged the public to take necessary precautions to avoid causing wildfires in precious forests.

Dramatic drop in wildfires in the first month of spring

Commander of forest protection unit at Forest Rangelands and Watershed Management Organization (FRWO) also said on Thursday that the incidence of wildfires have decreased by 130% in the Iranian calendar months of Farvardin (March 21-April 20) compared to the same period last year.

Ali Abbas Nejad told ISNA news agency that that spring downpours played a key role in the sharp drop. 

MQ/MG

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