ISLAMABAD: Another wildfire engulfed a portion of the Margalla Hills on Sunday that, according to the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), falls in the limits of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s forest area.

Spread over 12,605 hectares, the Margalla Hills National Park sees many fires every year, but these have become bigger and more frequent over the last few years.

Thick smoke could be seen rising from the massive fire in the hills on Sunday. However, Wildlife and Zoo Director Rana Tahir Mahmood said the fire was in Kingri, in the limits of KP’s forest area.

“We are very much alert. For the ongoing fire season, we hired 400 local boys from villages in the hills to fight fires,” he said.

He said six massive fire incidents have taken place in the part of the Margalla Hills that falls in Islamabad’s jurisdiction this season.

He said 10 pickets have been set up and firefighting staff have been deployed on the ground.

“Today, 200 of our staffers are on the ground to tackle the flames,” he said.

Published in Dawn, June 17th, 2019