People, Environment

Ancient Forests Go Up in Flames

 Ancient Forests Go Up in Flames Ancient Forests Go Up in Flames

Residents of western Ilam Province had to endure a tough weekend as they witnessed some of the oldest trees in their province devoured by fire.

On Thursday afternoon, residents of the mountainous region of Shalam noticed a column of thick smoke rising from the forest and rushed toward the woodland to help fight the fire.

The wildfire burnt for nearly two days, from Thursday afternoon until the late hours of Friday.  Due to the region’s topography, fire trucks could not make their way through the forest. As a result, civilians came to the aid of firefighters to put out the fire.    

According to official statements, the fire originated in Choghasabz National Park as a result of human negligence and spread quickly due to wind and presence of dry vegetation.


A glaring problem in curbing the wildfire was the regional fire department’s lack of aircraft. Aerial firefighting – use of aircraft and other aerial resources to combat wildfires – is one of the most important techniques use in fighting forest fires.

Speaking to ISNA, Emad Salamat, head of the public relations department of the provincial Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization (FRWO), said, “Valleys and mountainous regions cannot be accessed with trucks, and we are not equipped to fight fires in such regions.”

In response to the provincial Disaster Mitigation and Management Organization’s earlier claims regarding FRWO’s mismanagement of their budget, Salamat said, “There is not a single helicopter in western Iran capable of fighting wildfires. Without such equipment, disasters like this will recur.”

  Farewell, Flora and Fauna

Thanks to the efforts of civilians and firefighters, the wildfire was finally extinguished on Friday evening.

Quoting the head of the provincial Department of Environment, Mazyar Soleyman, Hamshahri Online reported that 100 hectares of woodland were devoured by the fire, killing animals and ancient oak trees.

The region’s forests will be monitored until Monday.