Tehran sets record high for wildfires within 2 months

June 9, 2019

TEHRAN – The highest number of wildfires occurred in the capital during the past two months, as some 15 wildfires were reported in southern part of the city, Jamshid Mohabbat Khani, head of the Department of Environment’s protection unit has stated.

In the aforesaid period, some 218 hectares of the areas under the DOE’s protection have been swept by wildfires, he added.

He went on to say that so far 56 cases of wildfires broke out in 12 provinces of Khuzestan, Qazvin, Fars, Kermanshah, Mazandaran, Hormozgan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad, East Azarbaijan, Isfahan, Bushehr, Tehran and South Khorasan.

Mohabbat Khani also highlighted that 15 cases of wildfires caused 70 hectares of the lands in Tehran to turn into ashes since past two months, which led the capital to come in first among the provinces affected by wildfire.

7 of wildfires were caused by lightning and 18 were human-caused, he said, adding that some 25 of the fires ignited due to litter and waste left in the nature.

For one a glass bottle thrown on the side of the road magnifies a ray of sunlight, igniting grass around it, he explained. 

He further called on the people and environment enthusiasts who camp in nature to take safety precautions and manage the fire responsibly as well as not leaving the waste in the environment.

Tehran’s department of environment deputy director for technical affairs Mehrdad Katal-Mohseni said that given that heavy rainfall saturated the country over the past few months, plant and vegetation cover has been expanded which seems to be vulnerable to temperature rise, so wildfire risk increases during this summer (starting on May 22).

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

Qasem Sabz’ali, commander of the forest protection unit of the Forests, Range, and Watershed Management Organization, said in April 2018 that some 15,000 hectares of forests burn in wildfires annually in Iran that 95 percent of them are caused by humans, ISNA reported.

Forest wildfire brings heavy economic burden amounting to 560 million rials (about $13,000) per hectare for the country, he added.

FB/MQ/MG

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