Forest fire in northern Iran

Wildfires Ravage Iran’s Hyrcanian Forests For Fifth Consecutive Day

Monday, 11/27/2023

Fires that ignited in the Hyrcanian forests in northern Iran on Thursday have persisted for the fifth consecutive day, posing a severe threat to the ecologically significant region.

Despite initial containment efforts, the situation escalated on Monday morning due to strong gusts of warm wind, rekindling the flames.

Reports indicate that since Friday morning, three locations in the Mazandaran province, specifically in the cities of Tonekabon, Noshahr, and Savadkouh, have been impacted by the wildfires.

Meteorological forecasts warn of continued warm wind gusts and rising temperatures on Tuesday and Wednesday, heightening the likelihood of fresh outbreaks in other parts of the Mazandaran forests in the coming days.

Mehrdad Khazaipoul, the Director General of Natural Resources and Watershed Management of Mazandaran in Noshahr, identified the "negligence of illegal hunters and excavators in extinguishing the fire" as the primary cause of the wildfire.

Esmaeil Sadeghi Niyarki, the Chief Justice of Gilan province, reported on Monday about wildfires in the forests of the neighboring province. The fire, which started on Saturday afternoon in the protected forests of Shaft, has now spread across 11 counties, covering an extensive area of 53 hectares.

This isn't the first time the Hyrcanian forests have experienced such devastation. In December 2022, a wildfire engulfed 40 hectares of the ancient forests, emphasizing the persistent threat to the natural heritage.

The Hyrcanian forests, with a history dating back 40 million years, are among the world's most valuable. Designated as the second natural heritage of Iran on the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2019, the forests house 90 species of trees.

Experts emphasize that the lack of modern firefighting equipment in the country's forests exacerbates the situation. Traditional tools like shovels, pickaxes, and fire beaters are often employed for firefighting efforts.

More News