Haze from Iraq Fire Shuts Down Cities in Iran’s Khuzestan

Haze from Iraq Fire Shuts Down Cities in Iran’s Khuzestan

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Three cities of Hamidiyeh, Hoveyzeh and Susangerd in Iran’s southwestern province of Khuzestan shut down on Monday after smoke from a blazing lagoon in neighboring Iraq blanketed the province.

A crisis management official said all offices and banks of the three cities, except for the service centers, were closed on Monday due to smoke from a fire in the reed beds of the Iraqi side of Hoor al-Azim lagoon.

While the cities of Khuzestan are contending with unbearable temperatures in long days of summer, a pall of smoke from the Iraqi lagoon fire has blanketed the province since last week, making people complain of burning eyes and respiratory problems.

Iran has dispatched two firefighting helicopters to Iraq to assist in extinguishing the fire.

The firefighting choppers, belonging to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force, have carried out effective operations over the blazing zones, officials say.

Head of the Environment Department of Khuzestan has said 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.

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