No end in sight to burning of pine forest in Balochistan


K-P govt declares emergency due to fire at Koh-e-Suleman
No end was in sight to the ongoing burning of pine forest in Sherani District of Balochistan. The fire in the pine forest near Shergali, District Sherani of Balochistan began on May 18 and was continuing till now.
According to an ISPR statement released on Sunday, Balochistan PDMA in coordination with NDMA is steering relief effort and organising fire-fighting activity. Army and FC Balochistan are providing maximum assistance with Hearquarters 12 Corps is coordinating closely with the PDMA.
The fire is mostly on mountain tops (10,000 feet high) away from population centres but continued to spread due to hot weather, inaccessible nature of terrain and dry winds. The ISPR said the nearest village is approximately eight-ten kilometres away from the location of the fire.
However, about 10 families residing in isolated houses have been shifted to medical relief camp established in Manikhawa by FC Balochistan. A FC Wing and two Army helicopters along with local administration and Levies have been employed in fire-fighting and relief efforts.
One helicopter is being used to drop water and the other is being used to drop fireball and fire-extinguishing chemicals on the blaze. As many as 400 fireballs, 200 firesuits, blankets, tents, mats and fire-extinguishing equipment have been provided by NDMA through FC Balochistan.
The Army has also transported relief equipment from Lahore to Zhob, the ISPR statement added.
Meanwhile, The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government on Sunday has declared an emergency following the raging fire at Koh-e-Suleman mountain range located in the junction of the province, Balochistan and erstwhile Fata.
In a statement, Minister for Local Government Faisal Amin Khan said three people died and four others were injured after being trapped in the fire.
He said security forces, rescue organisations and locals were working to contain the major fire on the Balochistan side while teams and machinery on the K-P side were simultaneously also working to create access to the terrain.
The minister said that the lack of water at the site and steep cliffs make it extremely difficult to approach the location.
He said chilghoza, pine and olive trees over 400 acres on the K-P side have been affected as the strong winds are enhancing the intensity of the fire.
Khan said the chief minister of K-P issued instructions to all departments for cross-border support to protect people and natural resources.