SWAT: Fresh fires broke out in the forests of Babuzai, Kabal and Barikot tehsils on Sunday as the authorities have managed to control over 65 blazes in various areas of the Swat district over the past few days.

According to the district administration officials, majority of the fires, which began on June 1, had been brought under control. They said that an operation was underway to control the fresh fires, which broke out in the hills of Marghuzar, Malkidam, Gul Maira, Amlooktal, Sherkani, Shingrai, Kandak Jahangir and Quanj Totano Bandai.

“Officials of forest department, Rescue 1122, police, volunteers of civil defence, civil society and local community members are engaged in putting out the blazes,” deputy commissioner Junaid Khan said, adding all the assistant commissioners and revenue staffers were also taking part in the operation.

Residents of Marghuzar area said the fire in the hills was spreading fast to other areas, burning down a large number of small trees and bushes.

“Both the government officials and local people have been trying to control the fire on Marghuzar hills since last night, but the blaze is fast spreading to Ghaligey area of Barikot,” Shah Wazir Khan, a volunteer taking part in the fire extinguishing operation, said.

Published in Dawn,June 13th, 2022

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