ISLAMABAD: A major fire broke out in the Margalla Hills on Monday.

Officials from the environment directorate managed to extinguish a major portion of the fire after hectic efforts.

The fire broke out on the hills behind D-12 at 6pm, near Lunda Village, he said adding that it spread to four places but fire fighters were able to extinguish the fire in three of them.

Speaking to Dawn, Wildlife Director Rana Tahir said two dozen staff members from Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad’s (MCI) environment wing have extinguished three fires.

An operation is underway and in the next half an hour, we will clear the hills entirely, he added.

Spread over 12,605 hectares, the Margalla Hills National Park endures dozens of fires every year which damage the forests and add to air pollution.

MCI’s fire tenders, due to the hilly terrain, could not reach the hills to extinguish the fire which is why officials from the environment wing were called for assistance.

During summers, MCI hires services of locals residing near the hills for three months to assist the environment staff in extinguishing the fires.

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2020