Wildlife in danger as fire in Muzaffarabad forest engulfs zoo


There is no respite in sight as fires continue to rage in different hilly and mountainous forests of the country on Friday.

The fire that had broken out in the jungles of Naseerabad, 17 kilometres from the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) capital Muzaffarabad, has now spread even further, engulfing zoo area, hence posing a serious risk to the lives of animals caged there. On the other hand, seven employees of the forest department have been injured in yet another fire that had broken out in the jungle of Smahni area of AJK.

The injured employees are Muhammad Shakoor, Ijaz, Mubashar, Muhammad Naveed and others. According to the eyewitnesses, intense heat and strong winds are hampering the efforts to put out the blaze.

After the provision of first aid, the doctors of Pakistan Army have referred the forest department employees to the Combined Military Hospital, Kharian for further treatment. Five cattle were burnt to death while three houses were reduced to ashes as fire that had erupted in the fields of Jalwal, a suburban village of tehsil Jand, district Attock yesterday (Thursday), later spread to a nearby locality.

However, the locality was saved from further damage as rescue teams rushed to the site of the incident to douse the flames. Several incidents of fire have been reported from a number of places in the country this summer season.

The areas include Sheerani forests of Balochistan, forests of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, forests on Islamabad’s Margallah Hills and even from some areas of Punjab.—INP


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