Commuting on the Islamabad Expressway highway, during the summers, it is quite common to see plumes of smoke rising up from the Margalla Hills. The phenomena is known as a forest fire and is because of combustion of dry flora and fauna that is induced by human factors such as cigarette butts, matches or sometimes because of extreme heat. However, often it is due to direct man made factors. As such, here are some ways to reduce or avoid forest fires.
Call For Help:
- Contact your local fire department, or the park service if you notice an unattended or out-of-control fire.
- Never leave a fire unattended. Completely extinguish the fire—by dousing it with water and stirring the ashes until cold
Avoid a Mess:
- When trekking or hiking, take care when using and fueling lanterns, stoves, and heaters. Make sure lighting and heating devices are cool before refueling. Avoid spilling flammable liquids and store fuel away from appliances.
- Do not discard cigarettes, matches, and smoking materials from moving vehicles, or anywhere on park grounds. Be certain to completely extinguish cigarettes before disposing of them.
Follow The Law:
- Avoid backyard burning in windy conditions, and keep a shovel, water, and fire retardant nearby to keep fires in check. Remove all flammables when burning.
Unlike many natural disasters, most wildfires are caused by people—and can be prevented by people, too. Meteorologists are not yet able to forecast wildfire outbreaks but what do you do if you find yourself caught in one?
- Don’t try to outrun the blaze. Instead, look for a body of water such as a pond or river to crouch in.
Scan Your Surroundings:
- If there is no water nearby, find a depressed, cleared area with little vegetation, lie low to the ground, and cover your body with wet clothing, a blanket, or soil. Stay low and covered until the fire passes.
Stick To The Ground:
- Protect your lungs by breathing air closest to the ground, through a moist cloth, if possible, to avoid inhaling smoke.
We hope this blog helps you in getting more information about how forest fires are caused and what to do if you get caught in one. This is a serious hazard to not only human lives but also animals who reside in the vegetation on the Margalla Hills. Let us be more careful as responsible citizens of Pakistan to not put anyone in danger from our actions.