Ali Khan Mandokhail:
ZHOB: Government helicopters arrived in districts Musakhail and Sherani to extinguish forest fire on Thursday morning. It has been more than a week since an ancient forest in Musakhail and Sherani districts caught fire at different locations.
“Helicopters engaged in hectic efforts to extinguish flames of the fire”, a statement issued by the Chief Minister Balochistan Secretariat said. Roaring flames of fire have burnt ancient pine trees located in Sherani and Musakhail forests.
Three people had also suffered burnt injuries in the Sherani forest. The injured were evacuated to district headquarters hospital Zhob for medical treatment. The injured were local residents of the area.
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Ashar, a movement launched to bring an end to deforestation and protect forests across Balochistan had demanded of the provincial and federal governments to use helicopters to put out fire. “This was our demand from the very first day”, Salmeen Khapalwak, the founder of the movement said.
Delayed response main reason behind roaring flames of fire
However, people of the area complained that delayed response on the part of the concerned authorities was also one of the reasons behind the destruction of the forest. “We tried on our own to extinguish the fire but failed to do so”, Naseeb Khan, another resident of the area said. He lamented that had the authorities arrived on time, the forest would have been protected.
Chief Minister Balochistan, Mir Quddus Bizenjo took notice of the fire in the ancient forest and directed the authorities to ensure a timely response. Although, he was dismayed over the performance of concerned quarters for the delayed response to put out the fire.
The CM has however directed the concerned authorities to double their efforts to put off the flames of fire and submit a report in this regard. “Use all available resources to control the fire”, Mr. Bizenjo said.