A massive fire in Shangla district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has gutted around 700 acres of forests, a private media outfit reported Friday evening citing officials.
The fire which broken out Thursday evening in Kormang Gandorai area adjoining the mountains of Bisham city continues to spread, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Amjad told Dawn.com.
“The blaze spread rapidly because of heavy winds,” he said, adding that about 200 forest officials and citizens were trying to contain the blaze.
The DFO said the fire seems to have been “started deliberately”, but his department is investigating the issue.
“Ash from burning trees is hurting the eyes of rescue workers,” he said, explaining why progress has been slow. He also said that rescue efforts had been difficult to execute as the area is very difficult to reach.
Muhammad Sadiq, a local resident, told Dawn.com that a mosque, two water supply stations and some houses were also gutted in the fire. He said forest department personnel are attempting to contain the fire, but it seems out of their control.
Other locals asked that the government send special helicopters to put out the flames, fearing that it may soon spread to other areas as well.