Two more killed as forest blazes rage in several districts of KP

Published June 11, 2022
Rescue teams busy in extinguishing fire at Sangota, Swat, on Friday. — Dawn
Rescue teams busy in extinguishing fire at Sangota, Swat, on Friday. — Dawn

MOHMAND: Wildfires continued to rage in different districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday, claiming the lives of a security official in Mohmand and a volunteer in Upper Kohistan and causing injuries to several others.

The casualties took the death toll in forest blazes to nine in over a week.

A security official engaged in firefighting operation in Baizai tehsil of Mohmand district suffered severe burns, police officials told Dawn. He was shifted to Peshawar CMH, where he succumbed to injuries.

They said four officials of other departments were also injured during the firefighting effort.

Rescue 1122 teams have been conducting firefighting operations in the border areas of Mohmand, Shandara and Jarobi Dara for last three days.

Frontier Corps, the forest department and district administration are also participating in the firefighting operation.

Meanwhile, Rescue 1122 teams extinguished the fire that broke out in forests along the Hazara Motorway near Badra Interchange in Mansehra.

The rescue service’s fire tenders and officials rushed to the spot and extinguished the blaze.

In Swat, officials of the district administration and Rescue 1122 said on Friday they had managed to control fire at about 61 places in different mountains and forests, and fire extinguishing operation was underway at two places.

Shafiqa Gul, a rescue spokesperson, said forest fires had started occurring from June 1. “Teams of Rescue 1122 along with officials of other relevant departments have managed to control fires at 61 places while several teams are busy in controlling blazes in two sites,” she said, adding more than 200 rescue personnel took part in the 10-day operation at different places, while seven fire engines, two water bowsers and 15 ambulances also took part in the firefighting operation.

“Rescue operations are underway in Sangota and Amluk Dara areas which will soon be controlled,” divisional forest officer Swat region Waseem Khan said.

Swat deputy commissioner Junaid Khan said the police had arrested seven persons allegedly involved in setting fire to forests in Kabal tehsil.

In Shangla, wildfires that erupted in different mountainous parts of the district were put out by Rescue 1122 and forest department teams on Friday evening.

Forest officials said a blaze erupted in a private land in Batkot area of Bisham, which engulfed parts of Shang, Maira and Dandai union councils. However, they said the fire was put out.

Zahid Hussain, sub-divisional forest officer, Karora circle, said a fire that broke out in Manga Sar area of Chakesar was put on Thursday night. He said a firefighter was killed and five others fainted during the firefight effort.

A fire in Lelai Dandai area killed a woman and her six-month-old child on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Rescue 1122 teams from Orakzai and Hangu doused forest fires in the mountain range of Darga Sefal Darra in upper Orakzai on Friday.

Published in Dawn,June 11th, 2022

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