Fire Hits Northern Woodlands

Fire Hits Northern WoodlandsFire Hits Northern Woodlands

Some 8 hectares of Abr Forest in Semnan Province burned in a fire blaze that continued for about two days before finally being put off on Tuesday evening.

According to Alinaqi Heydarian, the head of provincial Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization, the fire started on Sunday from Shirinabad Village in the adjacent Golestan Province, ISNA reported.

"It was extinguished, but wind reignited it on Monday night," he said.

Heydaria noted that over 50 firefighters, environmentalists and locals, along with two teams from Red Crescent Society and an emergency team from Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, have been deployed at the site.

"The wildfire was prevented from spreading further, thanks to preliminary training and firefighting equipment offered to the local residents," he said.

As the official explained, the heavy smoke was caused by the burning of dried foliage and trees were not much affected.

The officials have not yet provided information on the cause of the fire.

Located 45 kilometers northeast of Shahroud, Abr (Persian for Cloud) Forest covers 14,000 hectares and is part of the ancient Caspian Hyrcanian forests.

On Tuesday, woodlands in the northern province of Mazandaran started to burn in four different places.   

Experts say the fire was ignited by poachers and livestock owners, which enveloped more than 25 hectares of rare beech and taxus baccata tree forests in Amol, Babol, Nour and Neka counties.

According to Colonel Hossein Ali Khorshidi, the head of protection unit at the provincial FRWMO, the unprecedented rise in temperature and strong winds fueled the flames.

"We called on other entities to help by providing choppers and equipment, but they did not collaborate," he said.

The fire was finally extinguished late Tuesday, thanks to the endeavors of firefighting teams and locals with the least amount of tools at their disposal, which efforts Khorshidi referred to as "honorable".

Mazandaran is spread over 24,000 square kilometers of area, of which 1.3 m hectares are covered by woodlands.



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