Wildfire raging in Bandipora forests for the past five days has caused massive damage to the forest area. Locals blame the administration for turning a blind eye and not controlling the fire in time.
Fire erupted on Tuesday in compartment number 108 and 109 of Khuihama forests. While the authorities were found lacking in controlling the fire, locals along with hundreds of forest department employees got involved in fire fighting operations. Seven persons, including forest department employees, were injured on Friday while trying to douse the fire.
Citing shortage of manpower in the forest department, Bandipora District Administration on Friday evening had appealed youth, particularly those living near forest areas, to join the administration in saving the green gold of the district.
A forest department official told Greater Kashmir that ten of its employees sustained burn injuries on Saturday while dousing the fire. They were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.
Divisional Forest Officer Bandipora, Abdul Hameed Malla said forest employees and young volunteers are at work to douse the fire. "We have brought 80 percent fire under control and hopefully we will completely douse the fire as soon as possible," said Malla.