Press Trust of india

Massive forest fire damages hundreds of trees in Bhaderwah

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Bhaderwah: Hundreds of Kail trees were burnt to ashes as a major fire broke out in a forest compartment here in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district, officials said on Sunday.

The fire broke out in compartment number one in Ghuraka block of Keller Range on Saturday and has engulfed a three-kilometer area from Malnai village to Pranu, they said.

The officials said the fire is still raging and efforts are on to douse the flames.

However, the local volunteers alleged that the forest department failed in its response to the forest fire, causing a lot of destruction to hundreds of Kail trees and young saplings besides various shrubs and herbs.

Bhaderwah Divisional Forest Officer Chander Shaker, when contacted, said a party is on the job and has managed to control the fire to a large extent.

However, an official from the field staff of the Forest Protection Force said, “The fire has spread in a large forest area and we are trying our best to control it.”

“It is practically impossible for only three persons to cover a three-KM area,” he said.

The official said he had made several calls to his superiors for reinforcements but no one joined them.

He lauded the efforts of the local volunteers for dousing the blaze.

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