>> Oil fires lit by ISIS back in August are still burning here in Northern Iraq. Causing huge problems for local people. My name's Girish Gupta and I'm here in Qayyara for Reuters. Just 14 miles away, Iraqi forces are fighting to retake the city of Mosul from Islamic State.
A similar battle took place here five months ago. On their way out, Islamic State lit around 20 oil wells like this one. Now, half of them have been extinguished but that's not enough, says the UN. Satellite imagery shows from back in November, shows around 250 square kilometers of this part of Iraq is covered by smoke.
This is causing huge problems for people locally. Also animals. On our drive in we saw shepherds. With sheep have been blackened by the smoke. We spoke to doctors who say that people are suffering from respiratory problems here. And United Nations is worried about oil seeping into the water supply.
We spoke to an engineer here who's job it is to extinguish these flames. He said it's extremely difficult and dangerous work. He says, not only are people suffering burns, it's extremely hot here where I'm standing. There's also a danger that the ground behind me might collapse, because there's oil under it.