Another fire on Margalla Hills doused as heatwave sweeps Pakistan

Fire also erupted in forest spreading over area of 15 to 20 acres in Pindi’s Baghar Sharif

By | | |
Another fire on Margalla Hills doused as heatwave sweeps Pakistan
Smoke rises after a fire broke at the Margalla Hills National Park, with Faisal mosque and houses seen in the foreground, amid hot weather in Islamabad, May 31, 2024. — Reuters
  • Authorities controlled fire on 2 locations of Margalla Hills on Friday.
  • Authorities established a firewall to stop spread of flames: DC. 
  • Blaze has been brought under control in Kurd Sharif: official.

ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI: Authorities on Sunday doused another forest fire that erupted on Margalla Hills as the country remains under the grip of a heatwave.

The latest fire erupted only a day after authorities in the federal capital controlled fire in two separate locations in the Margalla hills.

However, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Irfan Memon said the fire erupted again on the Margalla Hills part located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa earlier today.

He said the Capital Development Authority (CDA) teams were present on the site to control the fire and added that 36 firefighters participated in the firefighting operation.

The deputy commissioner said authorities established a firewall to stop the flames from entering the federal city.

The Islamabad administration undertook joint efforts with the KP government to contain the flames, he added.

The Margalla range, part of the Himalayan foothills, has experienced bushfires relatively often in the summer months.

Lately, the fire intermittently erupted in the Islamabad hills. Officials are yet to confirm if the fires are related to the high temperatures or due to arson.

However, three suspects were arrested on suspicion of igniting the forest fires, the capital's administration said on Friday.

Fires engulf Punjab, KP forest areas

Separately, the fire also erupted in the forest area spreading over an area of 15 to 20 acres located in the Baghar Sharif area of Rawalpindi's Kahuta Tehsil.

Rescue teams and police officials are battling the flames to bring it under control.

The rescue officials said the risk of fire spreading was increasing as it is a rugged and mountainous area, adding that the rescue officials are extinguishing the fire wherever it is accessible.

The district administration has launched an emergency operation and called for more personnel and machinery to contain the blaze.

Meanwhile, a fire that erupted in the forest area of Kurd Sharif located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Karak district a day earlier damaged a large number of valuable trees and wildlife.

According to rescue officials, the blaze has been brought under control in the Kurd Sharif but smoke was still billowing in some areas.

They said due to a lack of access via land route, rescue personnel were facing difficulties as the teams were dispatched to the affected area via Mianwali.

According to rescue in-charge Malik Nurul Amin, the fire has been doused but the cooling process is underway in areas where smoke is billowing.

Parts of Pakistan have seen temperatures as high as 52.2 degrees Celsius (126 F) over the last week, with South Asia sweltering in a hotter summer this year — a trend scientists say has been worsened by human-driven climate change.