Carelessness of KRG led to fires in Tasluja forests: Sulaimani Provincial Council head

Large blazes on Goizha and in Tasluja
The view of dried-up pine trees on Tasluja-Sulaimani road. Photo was screenshot on September 19,2020. (Photo Credit: NRT Digital Media)

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SULAIMANI — Head of Sulaimani Provincial Council Azad Muhammed Amin on Sunday (September 20) accused the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of carelessness, saying that it needs to increase budget allocations for forests and the environment.

Amin said during a press conference that recent forest and brush fires in the governorate were exacerbated by lack of fire-breaks and investment in proper fire reduction measures.

He said that provincial officials are unable to adequately perform fire mitigation without a proper budget and encouraged the KRG to increase local funding to address the issue.

Recently, fires burned a large section of Goizha Mountain and parts of a forest along the Sulaimani-Tasluja Road, with rumors that the latter blaze was set deliberately to clear land for development.

Amin said that the council has formed a committee to investigate the fires and would prosecute anyone found to be responsible.

Fires are common in the Kurdistan Region during the hot, dry summer season, but recent incidents have raised the profile of the issue.

(NRT Digital Media)