Fire erupts in Awantipora’s Wasturwan forest

Fire erupts in Awantipora’s Wasturwan forest

Department on high alert to douse the flames: DFO Awantipora

PAMPORE: The authorities and locals have been dousing the fire that broke out in the Wasturwan forest area of Awantipora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday.

An official told Kashmir Reader that the fire erupted in a meadow covered with grass and was advancing towards the forest. He said the fire started on Thursday evening and was controlled after a few hours but it again erupted.

He said the fire was reported in the forest area of Badrev top in Barsoo and the backside of IUST in the Awantipora and Khunmoh area. The joint control room including the Forest Department Awantipora, Forest Protection Force, Social Forestry, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation led by Javaid Ahmad Mir Block Officer Lethpora, Ghulam Mohammad Mir JCR Block Officer Pampore along with the residents joined hands and have been dousing the fire for last three days.

The official further said they had been able to control the fire, but still, they are extra vigilant so that fire does not damage trees. “We are in the field with men and machinery,” he said.

Division Forest Officer (DFO) Awantipora, Mir Waseem Farooq told Kashmir Reader that the department is engaged in dousing incidents of forest fires that erupted in the past few days.

“Both the control rooms are activated and field staff is on their toes,” he said. He said the fire has been doused at Barsoo while at Khunmoh, the efforts are on.

He added that climate change is one of the reasons for frequent forest fires and ignorance by locals who herd cattle in the upper reaches. “We are creating awareness among people that if they visit forests they should not take along with them the substances which can increase incidences of forest fires,” he said, adding that most of the fires were noticed in those areas which have high-grazing pressure.

We are monitoring both forest areas and wildlife areas, the official said. “The department is alert and using high technology equipment in firefight operations.”

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