IRGC aerial operation underway to put down Hour Al-Azim wetland wildfire

Tasnim – Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) has performed over 970 sorties in Iranian and Iraqi border region to put down the wildfire which is still haunting Hour al-Azim wetland in southwestern Iran.

Wildfire has been spreading across the Iraqi-Iranian region of Hour al-Azim wetlands, a transboundary body of water shared between Iran and Iraq, since July 2, which made the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to give a mission to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to pursue negotiations on operations.

Rouhani also requested the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps to participate in the fire operations to extinguish the fire that is devouring the region.

The IRGC decided to use Ilyushin aircrafts equipped with big water tankers to help control the fire after two weeks of aerial operations by helicopters didn’t seem good enough due to fire intensity and severity.

Aerospace Force of IRGC has so far performed over 970 sorties in Iranian and Iraqi border region to control the raging fire sweeping through Iraqi part of Hour al-Azim.

IRGC pilots have carried out 9 fire extinguishing operations over the Iraqi region of Hour Al-Azim for two days, which made the flight team to operate about 14 hours a day.

The smoke rising from the raging fire in Hour al-Azim wetland has crossed the border into the city of Howeyzeh and drifted over 115 kilometers to reach Mahshahr affecting Rafie, Susangerd, Bostan, Hamidieh and Ahvaz on its way. Particulate matters concentration also peaks at 4 times above the safe levels when the fire ignites.

The fire is considered a huge threat for the wellbeing of people in the region as many are now suffering respiratory diseases and some are forced to leave their neighborhoods.

Consequently, only in Howeyzeh, over 250 people have been hospitalized due to respiratory problems caused by breathing thick smoke.