Pakistan — HARIPUR: Over 80 acres of forest were burnt in a raging wildfire in Khanpur on Friday. The fire destroyed a variety of precious trees and wildlife.
The fire reportedly started from the Khanpur forest range near Garamthoom village, Kotehra on Thursday.
Nearby villagers tried to put the fire out, before calling the fire department for help. But the firefighters too found the fire beyond their means, struggling to control it till last reports came in.
Residents of Garamthoom village said they could see the flames from several kilometres and the sky was covered with black thick smoke.
The lack of an adequate emergency response system with local forest and civic authorities did not help matters, with the fire spreading to the nearby hilly areas of Tarnava and Jolian, and even Khanpur Dam.
The District Forest Officer was not available for a comment.
However a forest official, on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that the fire that spread due to gusty winds destroyed trees,plants and animals over an area of more than 80 acres.
The official added that the department has no facility of putting out wildfires with helicopter and had to request the Capital Development Authority and military authorities to help them.
The official was hopeful that the authority will be able to respond in time, given that the Khanpur forestland borders the forest area of Islamabad.
There were also unconfirmed reports of wildfire in Sarhadna, Karwali and Sirara forest land in Khanpur.