Pakistan — With rise in temperature in the federal capital, the Environment Wing of the Capital Development Authority has reviewed and finalised Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) for forest fire control.
The SOP includes fire prevention measures, establishment of fire control sub-stations, establishment of control room, appointment of duty officer, establishment of fire pickets, patrolling, fire-fighting, aerial fire control and post fire operation, said the CDA spokesperson on Sunday.
The fire prevention measures include cleaning of fire lines, trails and paths, fixing and repairing of signboards, coordination with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and Himalayan Wildlife Foundation, procedure for assistance of village communities and committees, patrolling of frequently visited spots such as Daman-e-Koh, Pir Sohawa, trails and picnic spots and regularly watching and instructing visitors not to throw burning cigarettes and matchsticks or light fire for cooking and coordination with KPK and Punjab forest departments in case fire is detected in Hazara and Punjab forests near CDAs forest.
The staff of the control room will immediately inform the concerned conservator and divisional forest officer on telephone. The deputy director (forests) will follow up the matter subsequently.
The establishment of fire control sub-station includes establishment of a fire sub-station at Dara Jangla on Margalla Hills. The fire vehicle of Fire Brigade with six crew members along with forest fire picket staff of the CDA Environment Directorate will be on duty round the clock and a squad of 50 firemen of the Directorate of Emergency & Disaster Management will be available at Fire Headquarters to assist in the forest fire control, whenever required.
The control room will remain operative round the clock during fire season with telephone number 051-2855513 and wireless base station; one forest guard-forester of protection range will be on duty round the clock in the control room in addition to the wireless operation.
A deputy director-assistant director-range officer will act as fire control duty officer on daily basis under proper duty roster. The duty officer will be fully responsible for prevention, detection, fire-fighting and coordination of the fire control operation. In all, 33 fire pickets in the Margalla Hills National Park, including one observatory with binoculars at Shakarparian, have already been set up and the staff posted round the clock in two shifts (from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.), under proper duty roster. All fire pickets will be connected with the control room through wireless. The fire picket staff will remain on duty round the clock.
It has also been decided to ensure intensive patrolling of the area round the clock. For this purpose, four vehicles will remain at the disposal of duty officer. One vehicle will be assigned to Bhara Kahu Range, one for Siniari Block, one for Chowki and one for the control room.
In case of fire, the fire picket near the fire site will immediately proceed for fire-fighting, picket in-charge will convey his onsite observations about the extent, location and other features of the fire to the control room.
After controlling fire, the staff will not only vacate the area immediately and remain there for complete mop-up and watch. The duty officer will ensure that no chances of rekindling of fire are left. The ire affected area will be thoroughly inspected and a complete fire report would be submitted on the proforma.