KP forest fires nearly extinguished

PM orders provision of two helicopters to control Patnai fire

The fire in the mountains of districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including Swat, has almost been brought under control, while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister has ordered an investigation into them.

A forest fire broke out in different parts of Swat, Dir, Malakand, Shangla, Buner, and Mohmand on Saturday, and a rescue operation was going on for the second day. According to the forest department, about 98% of the fires have been brought under control and steps have been intensified to put out more. The fire broke out in several areas of Kabal, Khawaza Khela, Charbagh, Barikot, and Babuzai Tehsils of Swat due to unknown reasons and were brought under control on the next day.

Rescue, police, security forces, civil defense, TMS, assistant commissioners, and locals took part in the operation under the supervision of Swat Deputy Commissioner Junaid Khan. According to the district administration, precious wood was burnt due to the fire but no casualties were reported. On the other hand, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has also taken notice of the incidents of forest fires and ordered an investigation.

The chief minister has directed that an investigation be carried out and a report be submitted to find out the cause of the forest fire. “The elements involved will be dealt with iron hands,” he added. The chief minister said that the district administration and Rescue 1122 have been directed to take immediate steps to control the forest fires.

“All available resources will be used to control the fire. The provincial government will provide all necessary resources to the district administration for this purpose and a plan of action will be worked out for effective prevention of forest fires,” the chief minister added. Deputy Commissioner Junaid Khan has also set up an inquiry committee into the fire incidents at five different places in Swat, which includes Special Branch, ISI, MI, and IB.

According to the notification issued by Deputy Commissioner Swat, the inquiry committee will look into the incidents of fire in the mountains of Swat. The inquiry committee will send recommendations for action after identifying the causes of the fire and those involved and will take stern action against those involved.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Sunday directed for provision of two helicopters to extinguish forest fire in Patnai area of Swat. The prime minister issued the direction on the request of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). A request was made for support in controlling the fire, considering the dry weather and blowing of strong wind which could worsen the flames.