Fighting forest fires


The summer is here. And with the advent of summer, we see incidents of forest fires in Margalla Hills in Islamabad. These forest fires have become a summer routine of sorts and I fear that there is no plan to tackle this issue even this time around.
In the US, the state of California also suffers from forest fires and they have created a system of controlling such fires. To control a burning forest fire, they have two main plans of action.
Firstly, they use fire trucks, helicopters and planes to pick up water from a nearby lake and disperse it on the fire, lowering the temperature and stopping the fire.
But in many cases, forest fires cannot be controlled by water alone, as the forest fire can go in any direction of the forest. Therefore, the second method they have developed is to start a fire to stop a fire. The fire fighters use Napalm, torches and other devices to start a controlled fire, in front or in the path of the original forest fire. This small fire burns out all the dry trees and bush, creating a void, this void creates a obstacle for the fast moving forest fire and helps to stop it from spreading to other areas of the forest.
But the best method is the preventative one and many steps have been taken to control such fires from starting in the first place. The California state government has hired lots of goat herders, who take their goats into the California Hills to eat all the extra foliage in the forests during the year, preventing any fires from starting in the dry season.
Maybe the government of Islamabad can come up with a similar action plan to help control the forest fires in Margalla Hills once and for all.