Fires broke out at two separate locations on the Margalla Hills on Wednesday, gutting huge stretches of forests besides affecting flora and fauna. The fire started in the afternoon and was put out by around 6:30pm.
“Our firefighters are at the site. They have suppressed the fire and are now handling burning bush and dried leaves,” Environment Director General Sheikh Suleman told APP. He said the fire had erupted in the area near Trail 3. He said the reason behind the fire eruption has yet to be ascertained; however in most cases, it takes place after visitors throw burning cigarette butts without realising the consequences of their negligence.
When asked about the size of the area gutted, CDA Spokesman Ramzan Sajid said it had affected around 1.5 acres of forest. However, he said the fire has not gutted large trees, but only bushes and small plants.
He said the CDA was pursuing a comprehensive strategy to fight fire on the hills, for which the area has been divided into four ranges where fire check posts have been established. On the need for a permanent solution to fires, the director general said it is almost impossible for the CDA to keep constant check on the 12,605-hectare National Park.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2012.
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