A refining plant burns out of control after retreating Iraqi forces set ablaze many such refineries and oil wells in what allied military officials described as an Iraqi "scorched-earth policy." The Iraqi forces left behind an environmental nightmare, with rivers of oil covering the sandy flatlands and dozens of wellheads pumping black smoke into the sky. At the oil-producing city of al Wafra, hundreds of pumping-jacks across the huge oil field were idle. At al Burqan, a large oil field north of al Wafra, more than 30 wellheads lined up in neat rows were aflame.