ISLAMABAD: A major fire broke out on Monday in Chinari area on the Margalla Hills and it seems the Capital Development Authority (CDA) is unable to come up with an effective solution to prevent this yearlyoccurrence.

A day earlier, fire was also reported on forest number 16 in Saidpur Range on the hills. According to Director Environment Regional Rana Kashif, efforts were being made to extinguish fire in Chinari area as 100 local firefighters hired by the CDA as well as regular firefighters were taking part in the operation.

The director said fire was being doused out through traditional method of beating fire with bushes. Asked about the cause of fire, he said it had started in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area and spread into the jurisdiction of the federal capital.

Spread over 12,605 hectares, the Margalla Hills National Park witnesses many fire incidents every year during summer.

To a query, the director said the CDA had set up a number of pickets and its officials patrolled the area to prevent fire incidents. He said fire was a natural phenomenon but involvement of locals, who lived in villages located on the hills, could not be ruled out.

Every year, the CDA gave temporary firefighting jobs to the villagers during the fire season and it seemed those who could not get employment deliberately set the forests on fire.

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2022

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