People, Environment

Wildfires Decline in H1

Wildfires Decline in H1Wildfires Decline in H1

Statistics provided by the Department of Environment on wildfires in protected areas during the first half of the current Iranian year (started March 20) show a notable decrease in such incidents.

The latest figures show that there were 149 incidents across the 17.5 million hectares of protected areas managed by the department during the period, marking a substantial drop compared to the 272 cases in the corresponding period of last year and less than the 216 a year earlier, ILNA reported.

According to Ali Teymouri, director of the Conservation, Hunting and Fishing Office at the DOE, a total of 1,651 hectares of protected areas perished in the first half of the year, signifying a 50% decrease compared with the same period of last year.

The wildfires were most frequent in the provinces of Fars (26 incidents), West Azarbaijan (24 incidents), Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari (17 incidents) and Kurdestan (15 incidents); however, Fars, Khuzestan, Isfahan and Zanjan had the biggest fires.

Outlining measures taken to help reduce the frequency and damage of wildfires, Teymouri said DOE has joined forces with the Iran Fire Department to help prepare for and manage wildfires as part of a five-year plan.

The plan includes stationing helicopters in 16 vulnerable provinces, equipping firefighters, establishing firefighting staff at the DOE and provincial offices, holding regular meetings on preventive actions and training firefighters in extinguishing forest fires.

“This helps reduce firefighters’ response time and accelerate the process of putting out fires,” he said.

About 95% of all wildfires are caused by humans, around 85% of which are accidental.

Wildfires inflict upward of 3.2 trillion rials ($94 million) in losses every year, according to forestry officials.


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