The blaze in Kunar province started Sunday and had consumed hundreds of hectares of forest, the report said. The fire was advancing rapidly through the Dara Pech valley, some 30 kilometres south of the provincial capital Asadabad.
"We do not have the resources to fight a fire of this scale," local Taleban administrator Sadar Azam told the news agency. Local people had been asked to try to contain the fire by felling trees and digging trenches.
Timber from the Kunar forests is an important source of income for local people, and the lumber is also sold to Pakistan.
The forests in the bordering Pakistani district of Bajaur were considered safe because a river separates them from Kunar.
dpa am fz
Copyright (c) 1999 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 06/17/1999 03:52:08
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