BAJAUR: A forest guard was killed while battling wildfire on a mountain in Nawagai region of the Bajaur tribal district, residents and rescue officials said on Saturday.

They said the fire erupted in the Manara mountains in Baba Jee area near the Sagai locality of neighboring Mohmand tribal district late on Friday night.

They said a forest department guard along with a group of youths started efforts to extinguish the fire. However, they said the guard identified as Mohammad Deen Khan, 60, suffered critical burns while trying to stop the fire from spreading to a nearby security forces post and the freshly planted trees.

The residents said the victim, hired by the forest department on daily wage, died on the spot.

Talking to reporters, Awami National Party leader Sheikh Jan Zada said the fire continued for several hours, but neither the Rescue 1122 nor the district administration officials came for help on time.

Meanwhile, the Rescue 1122, in a statement, said a team along with a fire tender reached the area soon after receiving the information about the fire.

But, according to the statement, the victim had died before the rescuers could provide him with first aid.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2020