500 houses destroyed in massive fire south of Mount Sinjar

Officials have not revealed cause yet
Firefighters are seen trying to extinguish a fire in an area in Sinjar district (File)

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SULAIMANI – 500 houses were torched in a conflagration in Giruzer sub-district south of Mount Sinjar on Wednesday (June 19), the acting director of Giruzer sub-district Jalal Khalo said.

Khalo told NRT Digital Media that several farmlands also caught fire in the area.

“The fire have not been extinguished and despite attempts by the firefighting team and the people,” Khalo added.

There have been sixteen fires in Sinjar district so far since the beginning of the year, as well as 35,000 dunams (86,486,884 acres) of farmlands were torched. Three farmers died while trying to extinguish fires at their farms.

Two farmers died after crop fields caught fire in Sinjar on Saturday night (June 8), as harvests go up in smoke in northern Iraq.

More than 46,000 dunams (11,366,848 acres) were torched in less than a month across Iraq, according to a statement by the Iraqi Civil Defense Directorate on Saturday (June 15).

The federal civil defense also said that there were 303 fires at the farmlands during May 8 to June 14 across Iraq.

Over the last several weeks, Hundreds of hectares of agricultural lands were also burned by suspected Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Kirkuk province and Makhmour, Khanaqin districts and Sinjar districts.

Farmers in the country's breadbasket had been hoping for bumper wheat and barley harvests in May and June, following heavy winter rains.

Instead, many see their hopes turned to ash.

(NRT Digital Media)