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Fire in 95pc area of Shirani forests extinguished: Minister

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Federal Minister of Housing Maulana Abdul Wasey said on Tuesday that intense efforts by government agencies and assistance from an Iranian firefighting aircraft have helped control the wildfires which erupted in the forests of the Shirani district of Baluchistan.

At a press conference, he said the fire in 95 percent of the forest area had been put under control. Provincial Minister for Planning and Development Noor Mohammad Dummar, Chief Secretary Abdul Aziz Aquili, Director General of Provincial Disaster Management Authority Naseer Ahmed Nasar, and Balochistan government’s spokesperson Farah Azeem Shah were also present at the press conference.

Maulana Wasey said that the fire affected centuries-old forests in a 15-kilometer area and that the inhabitants of the area suffered losses amounting to billions of rupees.

He announced that after the completion of the fire extinguishing operation in the pine and olive woods, an inquiry would be carried out to determine the cause of the fire in the Suleman Mountains.

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Those who were involved in the incident will be held accountable, he said. The federal minister stated that the firefighting aircraft in Iran played a significant role in controlling the fires. The aircraft, which can carry 40 tonnes of water in one go, began operation on Tuesday.

He stated that the firefighting operation would continue until the forest fire in the Shirani district is fully extinguished.

Iranian firefighting aircraft would remain in Pakistan until the operation is completed, he added.

Maulana Wasey stated that shortly after receiving reports of the fire, he was given the responsibility of supervising firefighting operations in the area.

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