Massive forest fires raging in Kashmir, departments on high alert

Massive forest fires have engulfed large tracts in at least five districts of Jammu and Kashmir including two in north Kashmir, two in south Kashmir and one in central Kashmir.

Published: 01st April 2018 12:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st April 2018 12:33 AM   |  A+A-

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Representational Image.

Express News Service

SRINAGAR:  Massive forest fires have engulfed large tracts in at least five districts of Jammu and Kashmir including two in north Kashmir, two in south Kashmir and one in central Kashmir.

Officials said the forest fires has been raging in twin north Kashmir districts of Bandipora and Kupwara, Ganderbal in central Kashmir and Anantnag in south Kashmir.

They said hundreds of alpine trees have been burnt during last few days in the forest fires in four districts.

Sources said the forest fire is raging in Bandipora from last five days.

“The fire had started on Tuesday in compartment number 108 and 109 of Khuihama forests in Bandipora. Since then the fire was raging and authorities pressed men and machinery into service to douse the fire,” they said.

The residents of many villages in Bandipora including Aythmullah, Ajar, Sonrwani, Madar, Greenland Colony and Arampora have complained that they are facing suffocation as there seems to be no end to the forest fire.

Five forest employees were injured during the fire-fighting operations.

Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Khursheed Ahmad Sanai said in the evening that forest fire in the district has been doused.

He said local youth, personnel of forest department, police, Fire & Emergency, SDRF through their intense efforts doused the fire.

A massive fire was also reported from Nauroz Baba forests of Tangmarg division in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

Sources said fire broke out in compartment number 25 of Pathribal forests in Nouaroz Baba forest area yesterday.

Many trees have been bunt and efforts were on to douse and control the fire.

An official said fire also engulfed huge forest tract in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.

“The fire broke out in compartment No 18 and 19 of the forest division last evening and engulfed large area. Efforts are on to douse the fire,” he said.

The official said the forest fire is also raging in the forests of Anantnag and Pulwama in south Kashmir.

He said efforts are on to douse the fire and prevent further loss of the forest cover.

Officials said the forest fires have been caused by unusually high temperatures in the Valley and a dry winter.

The weather department has predicted dry spell in the Valley and rise in day temperature.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said the forest department and the volunteers are working tirelessly to douse the forest fire in Bandipora, Kangan, Anantnag and other affected areas.

“They have succeeded in partially extinguishing it, she said.

Mehbooba said all departments are on high alert to ensure that the situation is brought under control.

Fortunately, the forest department personnel managed to douse fire in Zabarwan forest range here in Srinagar.

The fire had engulfed the upper reaches of Brein and Nishat, spreading to Dachigam National Park peak on Wednesday.

“However, the forest fire was doused on Friday after intense efforts,” an official said.

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