ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Sunday expressed serious concerns over increasing incidents of forest fires in different parts of the country.
The President said that such fire incidents were causing huge financial loss to the nation as it deprived the effectees of their livelihood, put the life and properties of the inhabitants at high risk, destroyed local fauna and flora, besides worsened the negative effects of the climate change.
He advised the authorities concerned to refocus on the prevention of wildfire strategies by strengthening coordination among themselves, President Secretariat Press Wing said in a press release.
The President also called upon making of investments in fire suppression and prevention mechanisms, implementing of the existing fire management techniques by improving wildfire data collection and analysis and strengthening of stakeholders’ coordination and preparedness.
The President observed that most of the forest fire incidents were preventable as 85 percent were caused when the campfires and burning debris had been left unattended.
The use of the equipment and its malfunctions, carelessly discarded cigarettes while intentional acts of arson were some of the other causes, he added.
He said these incidents could be prevented by taking simple precautions including reporting of unattended fires to the authorities and extinguishing fire pits and campfires when done.
Moreover, the ignited cigarettes should not be thrown out of the moving vehicles whereas caution be taken when using flammable liquids or fireworks, he advised.
The President further said that regrettably, the wildfire disturbed flora and fauna, eliminated wild animals, destroyed the habitats of birds and harmed the fertility of the soil which hampered the growth and composition of vegetation, besides increasing the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, resulting in the emission of greenhouse gases.