First Crop Fire Incident This Year Burns 75,000 sqm of Farmland in Kirkuk
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First Crop Fire Incident This Year Burns 75,000 sqm of Farmland in Kirkuk

ERBIL — Nearly 75,000 square meters of wheat was burned in a fire incident on Wednesday in the disputed Kurdish province of Kirkuk, a local official confirmed. 

The incident, which is the first of its kind this year, took place in Yangija village of Daquq, south of Kirkuk, Daquq Mayor Luis Afandi told BasNews. 

“Firefighter crews arrived at the scene but the cause of the blaze is not determined yet,” the official said. 

It was not clear if the field belonged to the Kurdish or Arab farmers. 

Since 2017, when the Iraqi Army took control of the Kurdish areas in Kirkuk, Salahaddin, Diyala, and Nineveh, every year with the beginning of the harvesting season, repeated fire incidents cause massive damage to farmlands, especially those belonging to the Kurdish farmers.

Many cases were reported as arson, caused by either Islamic State (IS) militant or Arab settlers who burn Kurdish Farmers’ crops to force them out of their villages.

Between may and June 2019 only, $542 million worth of wheat and barley farms in 16 provinces of Iraq was smoked into the sky. 

Those fire incidents destroyed at least 62,000 acres of wheat and barley farms across the country, and the biggest portion of the incidents occurred in the areas disputed between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal government of Iraq.

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