Forests in north Kashmir’s Bandipora are up in flames for the last one week with the forest department blaming dry weather for the fire.
Forest fire at multiple locations has emerged as a major problem as the fire is not only swallowing green gold, but is also producing a huge amount of smoke, spreading respiratory problems among the local population since last week.
An official told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), that dozens of incidents of forest fire have taken place at multiple locations and hundreds of trees have burnt during the last several days.
“Yesterday evening the fire started 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,” the official said, adding that damage will be assessed once the fire is controlled completely.
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.
On April 2, a massive fire was also reported in compartment No 144 in Mulkihama area falling under Ajas forest range of Bandipora during which three forest officials were injured while dousing fire. The fire was brought under control two days later leaving thousands of trees damaged.
Similarly, last week, a major fire caused severe damage in Khayar forests in the district where the fire was raging for about three days.
While terming dry weather as a cause of rising fire incidents, Divisional forest officer (DFO), Bandipora Shabir Ahmad said that there is no serious loss in the forest areas while multiple teams would keep a watch on these areas—(KNO)