Devastating wildfires have engulfed vast areas of forests in the northern Iranian provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran over the past few days, causing widespread ecological damage and threat to the local communities.
In Gilan, the fires burnt through an estimated 105 hectares of forest land, according to local authorities.
Maziar Razavi, head of natural resources management in the province, attributed the blazes to strong gusts of warm wind, human negligence, as well as actions by illegal hunters.
A fire in the western part of Mazandaran destroyed nine hectares of forests.
Local communities have stepped up to help firefighters battling the blazes.
Experts say firefighters lack modern equipment to battle wildfires in Iran’s forests.
The arrests of environmental activists who have been working to protect the Zagros forests have exacerbated the situation.