On Saturday, four members of a family were killed in a wildfire in the rural Ali Jaan Kaparai area of Shangla district’s Chakesar tehsil, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, officials said.
The deceased include three ladies and a kid, according to Assistant Sub-Inspector Masood Khan.
Footage uploaded by the Forestry Department shows grass and trees burning, with volunteers attempting to prevent the fire from spreading.
A Rescue 1122 crew and revenue department workers had arrived in the area to put out the fire, and more teams were on their way, according to district disaster management authority spokeswoman Inamullah Khan.
“Forest, revenue, and rescue personnel are working to put out the fire,” he said.
According to the spokesperson, the fire started in some shrubs and quickly expanded to encompass a bigger area.
The victims’ bodies were transferred to the basic health centre in Chakesar’s Gunangar region, he added.
Separately, Shangla Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ziaur Rehman said he had asked necessary officials to attend the affected area and initiate rescue efforts, including Rescue 1122 and forest department personnel.
According to the DC, they were told to put out the fire as soon as possible.
“The place where the wildfire has erupted is located at a high altitude and is not easily accessible due to the lack of a [suitable] path,” he added. People must walk to get there, which impedes rescue efforts and fire control.”
Shangla’s sub-divisional forest officer, Zahid Hussain, stated that his department’s workers were working to put out the fire. After “an assessment,” he said, the cause of the fire would be determined.
Wildfires have been reported in various parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in recent days, destroying trees across several acres of land.
According to Hussain, flames were recently put out in the Titwalan, Shang, and Batkot districts.
“In most cases, local folks set the bushes on fire during this season,” he added.
The fire then “runs out of control and engulfs the [entire] forest and even populated areas,” according to him.
Those who set fire to woodlands in Shangla will face legal consequences, according to the official.
Forests had been destroyed as a result of wildfires in various areas of the district, according to the Shangla DC, who said he had directed the forest department to conduct a “assessment and take strict legal action against culprits setting bushes on fire, which destroys forests on a large scale and causes human life loss.”
Last month, a major fire in Balochistan’s Sherani district, in the Koh-i-Sulaiman range, destroyed a pine nut grove, killing three people.