Fire erupts in KP's Makhniyal, Khanpur forests again

Published June 7, 2022
A fire raging in a forest in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Monday. — DawnNewsTV
A fire raging in a forest in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Monday. — DawnNewsTV

HARIPUR: Fire again erupted in the Makhniyal and Khanpur forests on Sunday, engulfing a sizeable area, locals and officials of forest department said on Monday.

The fire broke out in the private forest in Makhniyal, destroying trees on several acres.

"The fire erupted in private forest of Kotla and travelled fast fueled by gusty winds to the reserved area. Forest officials and volunteers are trying their best to put out the blaze," sub-divisional forest officer Makhniyal range Zohaib Khan told Dawn. He said his staff and volunteers were busy putting out the fire, but strong winds were complicating the effort.

He said two forest officials were hospitalised after they were injured during the firefighting effort. He said cause of the fire and damage were being determined, and those responsible would be taken to task.

Meanwhile, the wildfire also destroyed several acres of scrub forest and fruit trees in the hilly area of Khanpur range.

Sifarish Khan, a resident of Sher Pari village, said the fire erupted from the private forestland at around 2pm on Sunday and spread fast to a vast area, destroying hundreds of young and matured trees, including wild olive.

He said the raging fire entered his orchard burning down plum, apricot, walnut and apple trees bearing fruit. He estimated his loss in hundreds of thousands of rupees.

He said over 100 villagers took part in rescue operation and managed to put out the blaze after an effort of eight hours, thus preventing the fire from reaching the village mosque and houses. He said the villagers used earth and water for dousing the flame.

Published in Dawn,June 7th, 2022

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