Four of a family killed as wildfire erupts in Shangla

Forest fires raging in several areas of Swat for reasons still unknown

Four members of a family were burnt to death as a result of a wildfire in the remote area of Ali Jaan Kaparai in Shangla district’s Chakesar tehsil, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday, officials said.

According to Assistant Sub-Inspector Masood Khan, the deceased include three women and a child. According to the latest reports, the fire has been brought under control.

Earlier, District Disaster Management Authority spokesperson Inamullah Khan told the media that a Rescue 1122 team and revenue department staff had reached the area to douse the fire. The spokesperson said the fire had erupted in some bushes and spread to engulf a larger area. He added that the bodies of the victims were taken to the basic health unit in Chakesar’s Gunangar area.

Separately, Shangla Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ziaur Rehman told the media that he had directed relevant staff, including Rescue 1122 and forest department staff, to reach the affected area and begin relief efforts. However, he added: “The area where the wildfire has erupted is located at a high altitude and is not easily accessible as there is no [proper] route. People have to walk to reach there and that hinders rescue work.”

Meanwhile, forest fires are raging in several areas of Swat for reasons still unknown.

Rescue personnel, security forces and police personnel are busy putting out the fires. At some places, the fires were brought under control but they were raging in other areas till the last reports came in.

According to sources, a wildfire broke out in Kota Aboha hill of Barikot tehsil of Swat. The cause of the blaze was yet to be ascertained but locals have demanded an investigation from the administration and higher authorities. Rescue 1122 Swat personnel were busy putting out fires at Charbagh, Barikot, and Mingora sites when the last reports came in. Swat District Emergency Officer Malik Sher Dil Khan has canceled leaves of all officers and rescue personnel keeping in view the severity of the issue.

Last month, a massive fire decimated a pine nut forest in Balochistan’s Sherani district in the Koh-i-Sulaiman range, leaving three people dead.