Bush fire erupts on the Margallas

Bush fire erupts on the Margallas

15 January 2009

published by www.thenews.com.pk

Pakistan — A big bush fire erupted on the Margalla Hills overlooking the popular viewpoint Damn-e-Koh late Wednesday evening.

The flames visible from quite a distance engulfed, a vast tract of the range looming above the Damn-e-Koh and seemed to be spreading further. This is probably the first winter fire this season and the incident is intriguing because only last week a wet spell lasting three days persisted over the city leaving little chance for an accidental fire to break out.

In the past there has been incidents of malicious fire while allegedly people especially those residing in small villages near Margalla Hills ignite to cover the timber theft.

Capital Development Authority (CDA) Director Environments Malik Aulia Khan however denied the possibility of timber theft saying that it was not possible for anyone to cut the trees under the tight ban by the authority. “There are no chances of timber theft, as there is very tight security by the authority to protect the precious trees of the hill,” he said while adding that not only the tress, but there was also ban on cutting the bushes in order to control the cases of fire eruption.”

He further added that the incident could be a result of carelessness of some villagers living in nearby villages.

Khan said that fire was the result of accident, which broke out around 5:15 p.m. and spread on a large scale on the hills behind the sector E-9. “There are very few chances of fire eruption due to malicious act of somebody rather it appears to be an accident,” he said.

He said that it was not possible to tell about the exact affected area, as the fire brigade crew was busy in extinguishing fire. “It is a very difficult area to access and takes about one and a half hour to reach the spot,” he said. Khan informed that as many as 50 fire brigade personnel were busy in extinguishing fire and it was hoped that they would manage to curb it after few hours. “Our crew is dedicatedly busy in the fire extinguishing despite the extremely difficult path,” he said.

He also denied that the season was not favourable for fire eruption and said that it was nothing unusual in the fire breakouts during the prevailing season. “The fire broke out due to the drought prevailing in the city and it happened in the past as well,” he said.

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