Wildfires In Pakistan
Scenes similar to those seen in California are being observed here in Pakistan as almost 70 percent of the entire forest area in the districts of Haripur and Mansehra have been set ablaze. This is a phenomenon that occurs every single year, this time made worse by the changing climate and the strong winds that are enabling the raging fire to engulf more land. Given the importance of environmental conservation in today’s day and age, and the harsh ramifications of an ongoing wildfire, it is vital that the authorities take some action.
Recent updates have shown that hundreds of mature trees, small growing plants and general green cover in both the districts have been completely reduced to ashes. With the inability of the authorities to tame the fire, it is safe to expect that there will be a significant amount of damage that is yet to come. This will not only alter the balance between development and environmental protection but it will rob people of a source of livelihood. There are countless who depend on these forests and now, they will have to find an alternative. Furthermore, the obvious impact on pollution levels will be tremendous and we must get ready for the tough times that lay ahead.
The first step of disaster management is to take emergency measures to mitigate the damage done, or prevent more destruction from taking place. The firefighters must be given quick and immediate training to put out the fire and strategies employed by those in the west should be emulated locally. Furthermore, emphasis must be placed upon future training to ensure that if such a time comes again, we are well equipped to deal with it. The locals must also be encouraged to lend their support considering that they will be the ones to be affected the most and must dutifully protect their surroundings. Lastly, our response time must also be quicker as the fire thrived for four days before a response was given. This is not acceptable and a higher standard is expected, especially in regards to disaster management.