Forests are the lungs of the earth but Iran’s nature cannot breathe because of the increasing wildfires which are battled with much difficulties mainly due to lack of equipments.
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Wildfire has been ravaging through Iran’s Zagros oak forests since May 28th burning through the vastest forest bridging northwestern Iran to its southwestern regions.
One person has lost his life and three others are injured with hundreds of plants and animals burnt alive.
Photographs show some of the most painstaking scenes with a volunteer saying for the first time he felt pity for even snakes he was scared of as a serious threat otherwise.
Fire department has time and time again urged for firefighting helicopters to carry out technical rescue operations to combat the wildfire. NGOs, Baseej volunteer forces and environmental advocates have all rushed to help.
The Red Crescent has promised to deploy a helicopter, the only possible contribution.
Zagros Mountains are laid across 11 provinces and 40 people from eight counties in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province have volunteered to contain the wildfire.
High temperature and wind speed have been in favor of the fire to devour more of the old trees as the mountainous area makes it difficult for the rescue teams to contain the blaze.
Seyyed Mohammad Movahhed representative of Kohgiluyeh and Bouyer Ahmad in the Parliament calls that an environmental disaster, whose damages could not be estimated at the moment, as hundreds of plants and animals have been damaged or burnt to a great extent.
Jamshid Mohabbat Khani commander of environmental protection unit has expressed regret as the blaze is destroying the ecological assets and natural resources whose value remains unknown.
Hajir Kiani secretary of environmental NGO has called Zagros as an unparalleled treasure of biological species warning that the loss of one species in every fire remains irretrievable.
For the people whose necessities are obtained from the very same nature, the wildfire remains a major threat.
Every oak tree in this forest is estimated to worth one billion Toman Iranian currency (nearly $59,000) and the numbers would give a clearer image of the catastrophe if one knows that one sixth of the region has been destroyed in the recent decades 75 per cent of which have happened in 2016.
More than 70 per cent of the plants in this forest bridging the northwestern Iran to southwestern regions, consist of oak trees and the rest are different types of almond, maple, pistacia atlantica, European ash, European pear and a number of other species.
58-year-old woman Banafsheh Sharifi, the mother of five all of whom brought up environmentalists, does not hesitate to help when it comes to wildfire, be it putting out the fire with very primitive tools or serving the firefighters with food and drinks.
Erfan Rashidi is a young local resident, has never given a cold shoulder to such incidents threatening the forest he has seen and loved since childhood. He has launched a society of environmentalists and attracted 15 members in 5 years all of whom have passed fire extinguishing courses to take care of Zagros which, in his words, is the only factor preventing dust haze to the country.”
Forests are the lungs of the earth but Iran’s nature cannot breathe because of the arsons which are hardly battled due to lack of equipments. US anti-Iran sanctions have targeted several sections in the country, some of which have directly damaged the lives of people, environment or the infrastructures in the Islamic Republic. Sanctions against food and medical imports, ambulances, planes and their spare parts among many other products and services are damaging Iran amidst its fight against the new coronavirus. With a US administration ignorant of all international deals the previous governments have inked and imposing sanctions against other countries, the extent to which the United States intends to press its knees on throats of world nations remains to be seen.