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Blaze scorches 150-acre Helmand forest

Blaze scorches 150-acre Helmand forest

Mar 13, 2011 - 20:12

LASHKARGAH (PANinfo-icon): Residents and security officials struggled to put out a wildfire that swept through a 150-acre forest in southern Helmand province on Sunday, officials said.

The fire that broke out at 4pm in the heart of Lashkargah City could gut the entire jungle along the Helmand River, the acting agricultureinfo-icon director, Jan Gul Khan, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Dozens of residents and security officials were trying to control the blaze, he said, adding the cause was yet to be determined. The 150-acre forest was largely scorched until 7pm.

Gul said the fire was fast spreading and rising flames could be seen in the area. "The fire is likely to engulf the entire jungle, if it is not extinguished soon," the agriculture director warned.

Deputy police chief, Col. Kamaluddin Sherzai, said there were no casualties. Security officials were working hard to douse the blaze with the help of locals, he said, accusing the agriculture department of negligence in preserving forests.



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