ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Two farmers were killed while a third was severely burned after they attempted to put out a fire at their crop fields in Sinjar (Shingal) on Sunday.
The fired was allegedly caused by an electric circuit five kilometers away from the Borky residential area, local media reported, adding heavy winds had spread the blaze.
Faysal Rasheed, the head of Borky Council, told local media the fire had started at a farm near a residential area in Nineveh’s Shingal district.
“While hearing the farmers’ cries for help, the people in the area, along with other farmers, rushed to their aid,” Rasheed stated.
“The fire was difficult to control as each farmer was trying to put it out from a different side,” he added, noting that three farmers had suffered burns, with two succumbing to their injuries.
Over the past few months, crop fires have increased substantially in the areas liberated from the so-called Islamic State.
Last week, the Independent High Commission for Human Rights in Iraq submitted an urgent appeal to Baghdad to act as flames continue to devastate farm fields and crops in Nineveh province, warning that the fires at the farms would impact food supply in Iraq as well as the livelihood of farmers as it is their primary source of income.
The Deputy Chief of the Iraqi human rights commission requested Baghdad to provide additional fire trucks and civil defense teams to prevent further fire-related incidents from spreading and causing damage to critical infrastructures such as water supplies and power lines in the area.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany