Forest fires affect billion tree tsunami project

24 April 2019

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PAKISTAN – ISLAMABAD – Billion Tree Tsunami Project Director Muhammad Tehmasip said that the forest fire flared up in the forests of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was due to extreme hot weather.

“Most of the fire mainly 50 percent of the total affected area has occurred in Chir Pine forests which is a natural phenomenon, however, the rest occurred in different parts of the forest area. The trees burnt as per initial reports are over 100,000 which is 0.001 percent of the total 1.2 billion planted trees. It will be retrieved in the coming Monsoon season’s extensive plantation,” he said in an exclusive talk with APP.

He said that “Pine forests are biologically pyrogenic in nature (caused or produced by combustion or the application of heat) as fire is necessary for its growth where combustion helps removing thorns and shrubs grown at the bottom level that hinders Chir trees growth.

It needs light for improved development which fire helps to improve where this plant naturally regrows after setting ablaze, he said.

There is no risk for the loss of forest cover in the area as it will be retrieved automatically, he added.

He said that the next plantation period during spring season from January to March would also help in scaling up the dropped number of trees after fire incidents.

Tehmasip informed that around 25 individuals were injured during the fire eruption and the survey was in progress to ascertain the true situation.

He said that most of the fire-affected forests were of Billion Tree Tsunami project.

“As many as 90 forest fire incidents in the woods located at different mountains have been reported. However, six people have perished in the fires reported in the past years,” he stated.

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