Fire at Swat’s Marghazar mountains continues to range for second day

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Wildfires in the Marghazar mountains of Swat, a tourist hotspot, continued to rage for the second day on Sunday, as teams of Rescue 1122 and the forest department amped up their efforts to extinguish the blaze. According to a spokesperson of the rescue department, Shafiqa Gul, the fire erupted in the jungles as well as on the mountain range on Saturday. “Immediately after we received the news, a team of 45 firefighters was dispatched to site.”

Gul told media that no loss of life has been reported so far and fire trucks have been positioned near residential areas in the forest to prevent any untoward incident. As of Sunday morning, she continued, 80 per cent of the blaze had been extinguished. “Our teams are trying to put out the fire in the remaining areas,” she added.

The Marghazar valley is located at the height of 7,000 feet from sea level. The area’s trees and verdant mountains make for an attractive picnic resort for tourists and locals.

Meanwhile, another fire was reported in the Shangla district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa early Sunday morning. Sub-divisional officer forest, Zahid Hussain, told media that the blaze started at around 10am near Dawoot in Chakesar tehsil. Teams of the forest department and Rescue 1122 have reached the area to put out the blaze, he added.

Hundreds of wildfires have damaged forests spread over thousands of acres in KP for over two weeks. On the other hand, the casualties took the death toll in forest blazes to nine in over a week.

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