‘Fire erupts wherever I am’: Pakistani TikToker draws ire for ‘disturbing’ video against wildfires

As wildfires have become rampant around the world amid severe climate change, sad visuals of fire engulfing people’s homes and killing animals have left all heartbroken. However, a Pakistani TikToker used the same forest fire for clout in a video even as trees burnt behind her. As the video went viral, netizens demanded stringent action against her.

A devastating heatwave has ignited many forest fires in different parts of the neighbor country in the last few weeks. Now, an influencer identified as Humaira Asghar thought it would be a good backdrop and turned it into a fashion shoot. Walking down a hillside in an elaborate embellished silver gown, Asghar posed for the camera as a blaze raged in the background.

And if that was insensitive enough, she shared the clip on her TikTok profile with 11 million followers saying: “Fire erupts wherever I am.”

The internet celebrity drew widespread backlash on social media. The video particularly gained wider attention outside TikTok, when wildlife officials used it to demand that the government bring legislation to protect the woods in the country.

Rina Saeed Khan Satti, an environmental activist and chairperson of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board, slammed the influencer on Twitter dubbing it a “disturbing & disastrous trend” where young people are not just posing but even setting fire in the woods.

“She should have been holding a bucket of water to extinguish the fire instead of glamorising it,” Satti told AFP. “The message these videos is sending is too risky and it needs to be contained,” Satti added.

According to Geo TV, Recently there have been several instances of people setting forest on fires and sharing videos on TikTok. A few days ago, a video showed two young people starting a forest fire with a lighter at Margalla Hills, the report said.

In another viral video, a female TikToker set the woods on fire to add “dramatic effects” to her video. She burnt down dozens of trees to “create a dramatic effect for the viewers in the footage”. Earlier, another TikToker was arrested for setting a forest ablaze in Abbottabad, Geo TV added.

As the backlash grew, the video was taken down by Asghar, Dawn reported. Asghar, in a statement released by an assistant, said that she did not start the fire and there was “no harm in making videos”.

People on social media tagged police and urged legal actions must be taken against anyone promoting such stupid acts.

According to Dawn, in Pakistan, forest fires are common from mid-April till the end of July. They are caused by searing temperatures, lightning as well as slash-and-burn farming.

As many called for stricter social media rules, TikTok too released a statement. The video platform said that “any content that promotes dangerous or illegal behavior would be a violation of our community guidelines and is not allowed on our platform.” TikTok added, as per The News“We work to either remove, limit, or label content that depicts dangerous or illegal acts.”

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