Forest Fire in Baluchistan and unmatched losses of Local Tribes
The chilgoza forest in Baluchistan has been engulfed in a fire that burned 40 per cent of the trees in the Koh-e-Sulaiman range.
A four-hour drive from Baluchistan leads you to the Shirani forest, the most significant area that bears various fruits. The forest is located in the Zhob district that covers an area of 26,000 hectares. Pine trees are the specialty of this forest, and there are over 10 million pine trees, each worth Rs. 20,000.
For days the forest was wrapped in red flames that burnt every leaf on a tree. The talk about fire went viral in May and burned every nook and corner of the forest leaving behind a barren brown land. The place once a habitat for multiple species is now on the verge of destruction.
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The people of the tribal villages who lived near the forest had to face the consequences of this fire. According to an activist, a villager jumped from a cliff to save his life but was severely injured, and many villagers were not able to succumb to the injuries and tragically lost their lives.
There was an outcry on social media when a climate activist posted pictures of the fire. Hashtags like #BalochistanOnFire and #SaveOurBurningForest went viral for days and days. Pakistan World Wildlife Fund and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) took notice of the catastrophe and sent a rescue team. Iran also helped in extinguishing the fire.
The team extinguished the fire after two weeks, but instead of trees, the forest was covered in ashes by that time.
According to the locals, chilgozay are susceptible fruits, and they would have died instantly with the intense smoke. The fire has led to irreparable damages in the province of Baluchistan.