Fire in north Kashmir woods, hundreds of trees gutted

SRINAGAR, Oct 28: Hundreds of trees were reduced to ashes in a major fire which broke out in the woods in the frontier district of Kupwara in north Kashmir, official sources said on Saturday.
Large number of forest officials besides locals are struggling to douse the fire which has spread to several compartments, including in Lolab, for the past few days.
However, dry weather coupled with lack of fire fight equipment has made things difficult to control the leaping flames.
Sources said that due to dry weather, fire broke out in about a dozen compartments in the frontier district of Kupwara early this week.
However, large number of forest officials, including senior officials, besides residents of nearby villages immediately rushed to control the fire.
The locals said that despite working round the clock to douse the flames, fire is spreading to other areas due to dry weather.
“We do not have fire fighting equipment, making dousing of flames difficult,” they said, adding that,”We are also feeling insecure as there were also loud explosions, reportedly caused by unexploded shells or landmines.”
Two forest officials were injured during the fire fighting, they said, adding, “we are using sticks to extinguish the fire. Hundreds of trees were damaged in the fire so far.”