Iran helping Iraq contain wildfire

Tasnim – Iran has dispatched two firefighting helicopters to Iraq to assist in extinguishing a fire in Hoor al-Azim lagoon in the Arab country, an official said Friday.

Two firefighting choppers belonging to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force have flown to Iraq to contain fire in the reed beds of Hoor al-Azim lagoon, head of the Defense Ministry’s aerial firefighting department told Tasnim on Friday.

Mohammad Mahdi Nouri, himself a pilot, said the two choppers, equipped with full forfeiting gear and tanks with capacity of 4,000 liters, have carried out effective operations over the blazing zones.

He noted that the operation will continue on Saturday, expressing the hope that residents of Iran’s southwestern province of Khuzestan would soon get rid of the troubles caused by fire in Iraq.

Many cities in Khuzestan, including capital Ahvaz, have been inundated by plumes of smoke from the raging fire, caused by dying up of Hoor al-Azim lagoon and high temperatures of summer.

Meanwhile, IRNA quoted head of the Environment Department of Khuzestan as saying that the Iraqi side of the lagoon prone to the fire covers an area of 150,000 hectares, more than 16,000 hectares of which have been burning over the past two weeks.