The forest fire on the Marghuzar mountain in Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, continues to rage on for the third day — despite the authorities’ attempts to put it out on Sunday. Other areas near the region are also ablaze.
The Marghuzar mountain range in Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa became the site of a wildfire on Saturday. While the rescue committee sent a team of 45 firefighters to the site, the fire continued to blaze till Sunday, at which point it was believed to be under control, according to a report by Dawn.
However, strong winds in the area caused the fire to erupt again and as per the latest update from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Forestry Environment and Wildlife Department, the fire has not been fully extinguished yet.
12.06.2022 (9:30 pm)
Marghuzar fire yet not fully extinguished, erupted again due to wind. Now one spot is burning adjacent to Sher Khani near residents. Forest staff is present on the spot and trying to control it.#KPForest pic.twitter.com/ByZiyJVwXm
— Forestry Environment & Wildlife Department KP (@FEWDKPGovt) June 12, 2022
According to the department’s updates, the fire is contained in one area, near Sher Khani. Forest rescue teams are reportedly present on the spot, trying to control it and prevent it from harming local residents.
Although no loss of life has been reported in the area thus far, fire trucks have been stationed near residential areas as a precautionary method. Overall, the death toll due to wildfires in KP has risen to 9.
The fire started at around 10am near Dawoot in Chakesar tehsil, according to forest officials, who said that similar fires broke out in Khwazakhela, Timargrah and Lower Dir.
Other mountains in Swat are also experiencing forest fires, such as the Elum mountain, which is ablaze and is believed by some to be on fire due to wind currents from the fire on the Koh-e-Sulaiman range three weeks ago. Other reports suggest the Marghuzar mountain fire spread to the Elum mountain as well.
Just received this video from a friend, @hazergull in #Swat.
According to him, these forests of Elum Ghar in Swat are still burning, despite the Rescue team's claims that they have extinguished the fire 💔
The local communities are extinguishing the fire on a self-help basis 1/3 pic.twitter.com/P7BznWUexn
— Shad Begum / شاد بیگم (@ShadBegum) June 12, 2022
Over 200 wildfires have erupted in KP over the past two weeks, and as per a probe conducted by the provincial forestry, environment and wildlife department, at least 55 of the cases were started intentionally.
A department spokesperson revealed that there were rumors circulating that the government was offering compensation for any damaged forest — it was being rumored that a single green tree torched in a forest fire would be remunerated by the government to the tune of Rs 100,000.
The spokesperson said that at least 21 people had been arrested in connection with intentionally setting forests on fire, and added that the rumors were unfounded and the government had not announced any compensation for trees damaged in wildfires.