Dozens of acres

Devasting fires ravage wheat fields in Kurdistan region

NEWSROOM — Over the past two days, several wheat field fires have been reported across the Kurdistan region, coinciding with the onset of the harvest season and resulting in substantial damage to local farmers’ crops.

Earlier today, approximately 5 acres of wheat were destroyed in Sulaymaniyah’s Dukan district due to a fire sparked by an overturned car. Ali Qadir, a spokesman for the Raparin Civil Defense, told 964media, “Our teams responded to a fire in the Marga area caused by an overturned pickup truck, burning several dunams of wheat.”

The area, though administratively part of Dukan, is close to Raparin, prompting involvement from their civil defense teams as well.

A witness from the area stated, “About 20 dunams [5 acres] of wheat fields burned, and the car belonged to a local farmer.”

Additionally, this afternoon in Duhok’s Bardarash district, a fire in the village of Dolijan Salih Agha consumed about 7.4 acres. The Akre Civil Defense suspects the fire was likely exacerbated by the truck carrying the wheat coupled with windy conditions.

Another incident occurred in the village of Murtka near Erbil, where a fire destroyed 14.8 acres of wheat. Ismail, a local resident, lamented the loss, estimating the damage at 15 million dinars ($11,463). “The fire was managed by three civil defense teams, but the farmer had planned to harvest the field tomorrow, resulting in a significant loss,” he said.

Given the frequency of these fires, local civil defense authorities may consider implementing stricter guidelines and regulations for harvesting operations and the use of agricultural machinery. The Central Civil Defense Station in Raparin’s Zhrawa area is urging citizens to comply with civil defense directives and to use proper precautions during harvesting to prevent similar incidents.

Further compounding the issue, a fire in Qatawi village in Erbil on Friday evening destroyed a tractor and 30 acres of wheat fields. Srud Bakr, the landowner, attributed the fire to an electrical short circuit. “In addition to the 120 dunams [30 acres] of wheat, several agricultural tools and a tractor burned,” Bakr said, urging the government to ensure the continuous deployment of firefighting teams during this critical season.

Also on Friday, a fire caused by welding work in the vicinity of Said Ahmad village in Sulaymaniyah’s Qaladze district burned 3.7 acres of wheat. The fields belonged to the individuals responsible for the welding work.

In two separate incidents in the Raparin district on the same day, wheat field fires caused material damage but fortunately no casualties. A total of 1.4 acres were affected.