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Efforts on to put out Nuristan forest blaze

ارشيف

Efforts on to put out Nuristan forest blaze

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On
Jun 01, 2017 - 13:59

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): A fire in the Noorgram district of eastern Nuristan province has gutted a three kilometers forest of pine nuts, officials said on Thursday.

Noorgram district chief Naimatullah Muslim told Pajhwok Afghan News the blaze erupted in Malika and Tongarat forests, raising concerns about its spread to other areas. He said they lacked modern equipment to put out the blaze and the forest was situated in an area where no road existed.

“About 60 to 70 policemen led by a commander have been sent to the area along with civilians to extinguish the fire. Mobile phones don’t work in the area and we are contacting them via satellite phones. The fire will be put out until evening.”  

The forest blaze, meanwhile, worried the local people. A tribal elder, Khuda Dad, said: “The fire has erupted in pine nut forest which is the only livelihood of area people. Residents have suffered losses.”

Provincial council head Saadullah Payendazai asked the government to extinguish the blaze through aircraft and prevent the forest from being reduced to ashes. He said residents could not tackle the fire.

But Governor Hafiz Abdul Qayyum believed only local residents would extinguish the fire. “The government has no facility to spray water from the air; but people have reached the area and are making efforts to control the blaze. We have also sent residents of other areas to help control the fire.”

The fire is raging in an area haunted by a large number of insurgents. With a reason yet to be ascertained, officials alleged shepherds set up a fire in the forest last night.

According to another report, a fire eruption in Kot and Rodat districts of eastern Nangarhar province gutted 75 homes, inflicted heavy financial losses on people.

The Nangarhar governor’s spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani, told Pajhwok the fire erupted in a home in the Tirili area of Kot district. Later on, the blaze spread to the Baro area of neighbouring Rodat district.

He said 15 homes were burnt in Tirili and about 60 houses in Baro areas, causing heavy financial losses to people. However, no casualties were reported.

sns/mud