Ilam, Kurdestan Plagued by Deliberate Wildfires

Ilam, Kurdestan Plagued by Deliberate WildfiresIlam, Kurdestan Plagued by Deliberate Wildfires

Two provinces of Ilam and Kurdistan have the largest number of intentionally-started fires in forests, ILNA reported.

A majority of wildfires are caused accidentally, due to campers’ negligence, specifically because of forgetting to extinguish camp fires before leaving the site.

Arsonists and poachers who deliberately start wildfires for the sole purpose of harming the environment have become a nuisance, said commander of the protection unit in Forests, Range, and Watershed Management Organization, Colonel Ghasem Sabzali.

Sabzali explained that several reasons, including nomadic life of local tribes and activities of illegal militias taking refuge in mountains in Kurdestan and Ilam have had a significant impact on the regions’ forests.

In the past two years, Fars Province has had the largest share of wildfires in the country, according to ILNA. So far this year, however, there has been a drop in the number of wildfires compared to the same period last year (ended March 20, 2015).

Forest fires are at their highest during the summer months, when rising temperatures render the plains dry and prone to catching fire.

The forests protection unit is currently heading a task force to devise plans to better protect forests against wildfires. With government funding and contributions from the public, the task force aims to decrease wildfires and curb their impact.