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Fire Ravages Forests in Haripur and Kohat

Fire Ravages Forests in Haripur and Kohat

HARIPUR/KOHAT: A wildfire that began on Saturday continued to ravage the scenic Makhniyal forest range in Haripur, causing significant damage to the flora.

Villagers and police reported no casualties. The initial fire incident occurred on Wednesday in Neelan Bhoto village when a burning cigarette was discarded near the Diano valley picnic point, igniting dry grass and subsequently engulfing several acres of forestland.

Read more: Government Expresses Concern Over Escalating Margalla Hills Fire

Locals reported damage to both young and mature trees. The fire was eventually extinguished after several hours of efforts by forest officials and residents.

“The fire started in the private forest of Neelan Bhoto and spread to the reserved forest, damaging approximately 15 hectares of forestland,” said a forest official involved in the rescue operation.

Officials noted three fire incidents in Haripur. The fire also affected parts of the forest in Makhniyal village. “Three fire incidents have been reported in the Makhniyal forest range this season. Two have been controlled, but the third, which began on May 27 in ICT territory and spread to Kotla forest, is still burning,” an official stated, expecting the fire to be controlled by evening.

A significant fire began in Shahdara, Islamabad, on May 27 and spread to the Kotla forest in Makhniyal, Haripur, driven by gusty winds. This fire destroyed about 50 hectares of forestland before being extinguished. The Haripur forest division has raised the issue with ICT to hold those responsible accountable.

The third fire in four days was reported on Saturday night on the Kotla side of Makhniyal. Starting from Gokina village in Islamabad, it spread to the reserved forest of Kotla and continued to burn. CDA staff controlled it on their side, while efforts to extinguish it in Kotla were ongoing.

Officials stated that a situation report on the total loss of flora would be compiled once the fire is extinguished.

Meanwhile, firefighters and locals struggled on Sunday to douse a bushfire in the Sunnikhel area of Darra Adamkhel. A previous bushfire had broken out in the hilly track near the wildlife park in Kohat district. Rescue 1122 firefighters and water tankers were dispatched to Sunnikhel, and the fire was extinguished after seven hours of effort.