People, Environment

Huge Decline in Hamedan Wildfires

Huge Decline in Hamedan WildfiresHuge Decline in Hamedan Wildfires

The area of lands where wildfires raged in Hamedan Province’s protected areas has seen an 80% decline compared to last year, a top provincial official said.

Most wildfire incidents occur in Iran during summertime—from late May until late September.  

Wildfires burned some 11.4 hectares of the protected areas since late May this year while they scorched 59.1 hectares of burnt forests over the same period of last year, ISNA reported.

According to Mehdi Safikhani, the deputy head of the provincial Department of Environment, the incidents have seen a noticeable decrease thanks to effective measures.

“There have been only three incidents this year, with the biggest occurring in Khan Gormaz protected area,” he said.

Safikhani hoped that conditions will remain stable until precipitations begin in the second half of the year.  

Reportedly, forests cover only 7% of Iran’s landmass and their destruction would have serious implications on climate and economy. This means protecting them is of utmost importance.

Measures such as forming rapid response teams in every province, equipping park rangers with fire extinguishers and installing monitoring systems seem to have helped reduce the damage caused by forest fires.

In addition, stationing helicopters in 14 most vulnerable provinces has significantly reduced firefighters’ response time and accelerated the process of putting out wildfires.

According to forestry officials, 95% of all wildfires in Iran are manmade, 30% of which are intentional. On average, forest fires inflict losses worth 3.2 trillion rials ($84.2 million).

Those who intentionally start wildfires will serve between three- and five-year prison terms, while those who carelessly cause fire in forests and other protected areas will be imprisoned for between three months and three years.


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