BAJAUR: Fire destroyed a vast tract of forest-covered area in the mountainous locality of Salarzai tehsil in Bajaur tribal district.
The local people and officials said that the fire erupted in the forest in Islamgut area, adjacent to the famous Shangas Mountain, some three kilometres north east of Pashat, the main town of Salarzai region, on Monday noon.
They said that cause of the fire could not be ascertained immediately. The wildfire destroyed scores of trees, they added.
Islam Gul, a resident of Pashat area, told this correspondent that some local people launched efforts to extinguish the fire when the flames became visible from the nearby localities. However, they could not succeed in their efforts till Tuesday morning due to lack of resources, he added.
The villagers complained against the Rescue 1122 and district administration for not responding timely to outbreak of fire in the frost. They said that they informed the Rescue 1122 and the district administration soon after the fire erupted in the forest.
The villagers said that officials of both the administration and Rescue 1122 did not visit the locality to help them in extinguishing the fire. Had the officials rushed to the area, the fire would have been extinguished timely without causing heavy damage to the forest, they added.
The district administration confirmed the outbreak of fire in the forest in the hilly locality of Salarzai region.
Talking to journalists, Assistant Commissioner Fazal Raheem said that scores of trees were destroyed by the fire. He said that the fire was put out owing to the efforts of district administration officials.
Published in Dawn, July 15th, 2020