No end in sight to burning of pine forest in Balochistan

ISPR says forest blaze posed no threat to population: Iran provides aircraft to help douse fire: PM Shehbaz gets report on pine forest fire

By: News Desk
Published: 03:04 PM, 22 May, 2022
No end in sight to burning of pine forest in Balochistan
Caption: Video grab.
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No end was in sight to the ongoing burning of pine forest in Sherani District of Balochistan, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

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. 

PM Shehbaz gets report on pine forest fire 

A detailed report on the ongoing operation to control forest fire in Balcohistan was presented to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday.

As per the report, several teams were formed in collaboration with federal and state institutions on the instructions of the Prime Minister to control the fire.

The report stated the Commissioner Zhob set up a control room in the area and another control room was also set up by the Secretary Forest and Wildlife to monitor the operation.

As per the report, Balochistan Chief Secretary, Secretary Forests and DG PDMA visited the fire site to monitor the operation.

According to report, the teams of more than 300 Forest Department personnel are participating in the campaign at Shergali, Zarghoon Zawar, Torghar and Takai.

The report stated that regarding the operation, Special Representative of the Prime Minister, Federal Housing Minister Maulana Abdul Wasay presided over a meeting in Zhob which included the Chief Minister of Balochistan, officials of federal, provincial institutions and Commander 12 Corps.

As per the report, on the instructions of the Prime Minister, a task force headed by the Secretary Forest and Wildlife Balochistan was constituted in Sherani district. 

The report stated the notification of "Village and Area Fire Control Committees" has also been issued in its area.

PDMA provided rescue vehicles and fire extinguishers to prevent the fire from spreading further, added the report

According to report, in addition, fire extinguishers are being provided by NDMA, adding the Pakistan Army provided two helicopters and set up an army base camp to assist in the operation. 

It is important to note the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in an emergency meeting in Lahore on May 21, had directed to expedite the operation to contain the blaze.

Meanwhile, the neighboring Iran has provided firefighting aircraft at the request of the provincial and federal governments.

According to government officials, a survey has been launched to assess the damage after the fire was brought under control.

Moreover, Farah Azeem Shah, a spokesman for the Balochistan government, said she was confident that the devastating forest fires on the Koh-e-Suleman range would be brought under control by today as the Army, provincial and federal disaster management officials and other officials are making efforts.

Reporters: Awais Kiyani and Rizwan Saeed