Forest fires reported in Pakistan’s Margalla Hills

Islamabad, May 21 (IANS) At least eight forest fires were reported in Pakistan’s Margalla Hills over the past 15 days.

The largest fire erupted on Tuesday night, and according to some Capital Development Authority officials, the hills were still burning.

However, CDA environment member Sanaullah Aman said Tuesday’s fire was extinguished but another fire erupted on Friday.

“Citizens’ carelessness is the main cause of the fire incidents in the hills. People throwing cigarettes, burning matches or even locals could be involved in the fires,” Dawn online quoted Aman as saying.

On Friday the city managers discussed the frequent fires spread over 12,605 hectares.

The CDA chairman Maroof Afzal directed the environment wing to deploy 300 more officials to curb fire incidents in Margalla hills, a statement said.

In order to enforce effective monitoring, the number of fire pickets were increased from 15 to 30, it said.

Aman said other departments were assisted in curbing such incidents. Army Aviation helicopters would be used in fire at unapproachable areas, and Rangers personnel would apprehend individuals involved in such incidents.

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