Fire has been burning at Tanjaro dumpsite for more than 8 days

Spreading pollutants into the air
A large fire burns at the Tanjaro landfill on July 5, 2019. (NRT Digital Media/Screenshot)

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SULAIMANI – A massive fire has been burning at a landfill in the Tanjaro area southeast of Sulaimani city for the last eight days, creating a huge plume of smoke and spreading environmental hazards.

NRT Digital Media reporter Ehasan Sabir said that the fire was less than 50 percent under control.

The Sulaimani municipality’s attempts to extinguish the fire have not been successful. It has so far only tried to smother the blaze by dumping additional trash on top of it, Sabir reported.

A spokesperson for Sulaimani Civil Defense told NRT Digital Media that fire had been sparked by the recent increase in temperatures.

“We have sent teams [civil defense] from seven stations to the area.”

Over 300 tons of garbage is transferred to Tanjaro every day to be burned in the open air, but out of control blazes are common.

Environmental groups and health advocates have long objected to the landfill and the practice of open air burning, which spreads pollutants into the air and the nearby river that cause cancer and other health problems for local people and animals.

(NRT Digital Media)