Lightning strike

Fire damages botanical garden in Sulaymaniyah’s Hawari Shar Park

SULAYMANIYAH — A fire broke out last night at Hawari Shar Park in Sulaymaniyah, with civil defense teams managing to contain the blaze. The park’s central area remains green and unaffected by the fire.

The botanical garden, a section of Hawari Shar Park, suffered significant damage. Of its 14 acres, 12.3 were affected by the fire, destroying trees such as oak, terebinth, hawthorn, and prunus microcarpa.

Established in 2012, this garden features a large collection of various trees native to the Kurdistan Region.

Fareedun Omer, the park director, told 964media, “The fire, which started late last night, was controlled with the help of Sulaymaniyah civil defense teams and park staff.”

The fire, caused by a lightning strike, inflicted damage around the park but did not reach the central area. “All greenery and trees in the main area of Hawari Shar Park are intact. We assure everyone that Hawari Shar Park remains green and preserved,” Omer stated.

Hawari Shar Park, covering an area of 1,087 acres, is located in the northwest of Sulaymaniyah. This year, over 3,000 trees have been planted in the park.

Recent lightning strikes have caused significant fires in the region. Six fire incidents caused by lightning strikes occurred in Sulaymaniyah’s Garmiyan area on Monday, burning approximately 12 acres of farmland and grazing land within just seven hours.

In another lightning-related incident, a large fire broke out in Sulaymaniyah’s Agjalar sub-district, burning 25 acres of land and around 50 trees. Additionally, a 14-year-old shepherd from Qori Chai village near Garmiyan’s Kifri city lost his life on Monday morning after being struck by lightning while tending to his flock.

On Sunday, a forest fire caused by lightning burned 124 acres of forest and grazing land in Sulaymaniyah’s Penjwen district. The fire was controlled by forest police teams and local residents.