Murree Residents Decry Lack Of Local Forest Fire Fighting Facilities

Murree residents decry lack of local forest fire fighting facilities

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 15th Jun, 2024) The Murree residents on Saturday decried lack of proper forest fire fighting facilities in the country's famous and mostly frequently visited tourist attraction that has become susceptible to raging forest fires amid sizzling heatwave prevailing in the country.

Talking to APP, Tariq Mehmood a local Murree resident said that in the recent forest fires of Murree, Ghora Gali Beat, and Terat Beat forests were destroyed completely due to the incompetent management of the Forest Department numerous valuable trees, and wildlife were destroyed.

"It is the season of birds to lay their eggs. If one wants to witness the devastation of wildlife, one should go to Murree's Terat Beat where dead birds' eggs and hatchlings are found everywhere. They are very costly vehicles used for the forest department's family and household use. But there is no bowser or tanker to extinguish emergency fire in the forest," he alleged.

Tariq Mehmood mentioned that generally, the forest fires occurred in summers.

He suggested that if each beat had multiple water tankers or water pumps that could be operated from different springs and gorges, the fire could be extinguished.

Decades ago, he informed that the local volunteers were given water tubes and sprinklers, but this policy was put on the back burner. "Forest guards and forester go to their houses at night. If fire breaks out at night, how would it be controlled, it is necessary to reactivate local volunteers so that they can alert the government agencies in case of emergency," he said.

He urged the Punjab government to form a committee on the incompetence of the department and punish the officers responsible for such a huge loss.

It merits mention that the Armed Forces and Punjab Emergency Service Rescue 1122 and other civic agencies jointly put out the recent inferno after tedious efforts but the forest fire left many precious pine trees and other local species turned to ashes.