Fact Check: Old Video Of Forest Fire In Australia Viral As Recent One From Pakistan

Balochistan’s Chilgoza (pine nut) forest in Pakistan was on fire for over 10 days until it was finally put out on May 25, 2022.

Following this, a video of the burning trees has gone viral on social media with a caption claiming that it is from Balochistan’s forest fire.

A social media user shared the post with a caption: “#کوہ_سلیمان_جل_رہا_ہے!!خیبر پختونخوا اور بلوچستان کے درمیان واقع پہاڑی علاقہ جو تخت سلیمان پر مشہور ہےجس پر 13 دنوں سے آگ لگی ہے وفاقی اور صوبائی حکومت غفلت کی نیند سورہی ہے آگ بجھانے کیلئے کوئی عملی کاروائی نہیں کی جا رہی علاقہ کے لوگوں کا اربوں کا نقصان ہوا جس میں چلغوزے صنوبر دیودار اور زیتون کے درخت جلنے کے ساتھ ساتھ پرندے جانور اور تاحال چار قیمتی انسانی جانوں کا بھی نقصان ہو چکا ھ  حکومت اور سیاسی لوگوں نے اس واقعے کو صرف ٹویٹر اور فیس بک تک محدود رکھا ہے اس آگ کی وجہ سے لوگ نقل مکانی پر مجبور ہو رھے ہیں۔ حکومت سے فوری ایکشن لینے کی اپیل په وطن مو جوړ ماتم دۍ تور تمونو کې مو شپې دې”

(English translation: “Koh-e-Suleman is burning. The hilly terrains, located between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, Takht-e-Sulaiman, is on fire for the past 13 years. The central government and state government are sleeping, and no legal action has been taken. People of the region have lost billions of rupees. Government officials are only putting their opinions on Twitter and Facebook. Due to this fire, people have been forced to leave their places. We request the government to take immediate action.”)

The link to the post can be seen here.

FACT CHECK

NewsMobile did a fact-check and found the claim to be misleading.

On doing a Google Reverse Image Search with one of the keyframes, we found the same image uploaded by CBSNews on January 7, 2020, with a caption: “Bairnsdale on fire”.

The article associated with the image reported the massive forest fire that broke out in Australia in September 2019.

The video was also shared by Voice of America on January 2, 2020, with a caption: “Aerial footage released Thursday, January 2, shows the breadth of the wildfires raging across a vast expanse of forest in Victoria, Australia, earlier this week.”

The description further reads: “Tens of thousands of holidaymakers raced to evacuate popular seaside towns in Australia’s east coast on Thursday, fleeing ahead of advancing bushfires, as military ships and helicopters began rescuing thousands more trapped by the blazes. Fuelled by searing temperatures and high winds, more than 200 fires are now burning across the south-eastern states of New South Wales and Victoria, threatening several towns. Long lines formed outside supermarkets and gas stations near high-danger areas, and shelves were emptied of staples like bread and milk, as residents and tourists sought supplies to either bunker down or escape. More than 50,000 people were without power and some towns had no access to drinking water, after catastrophic fires ripped through the region over the past few days, sending the sky blood red and destroying towns.”

Hence, in conclusion, it is proved that the video in question is of Australia’s forest fire, in 2019, and not of Balochistan’s forest fire.

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