Notwithstanding the efforts of the authorities to douse the flames, forests in different compartments of Kupwara and Langate continue to burn, reports said.
Concerned residents have sought strict action against the miscreants believed to be involved in the detested act. The forest authorities, it is believed, have identified some miscreants. Five have been taken into custody as well, they claimed.
Meanwhile, reports said that authorities are fighting the flames in compartment No 41 at Mankan and 14 compartments of Watsar and Waddar, falling under the jurisdiction of Langate forest division from the past one week.
Residents said that the fire has spread to a vast patch. According to them, the officials control the fire during the day but at night fast blowing winds time by making fire rings, but due to fast blowing during the night helps it spread again.
DFO Langate, Muhammad Ayoub Pandit told Greater Kashmir that forest fire has been controlled now after hectic efforts by locals and officials of forest division and the army. "The intensity of the fire forced us to seek help of army's 30 RR unit which helped us in fire fight operations" he said. DFO Lnagate Muhammad Ayoob Pandit told Greater Kashmir.
Reports from Kamraj Forest Division are equally disturbing. A major fire continues from the past three days in compartment No 67 at Katalwali and Safawali Gali areas of the division which has destroyed scores of Deodar and Kail trees, reports said. "The fire is spreading to the adjoining compartments" residents said appealing officials to act fast.
The Police have registered two FIRs against the miscreants identified by the forest department for their alleged involvement in the forest fires. Of the 40 identified, five have been arrested.
SHO Police station Lalpora told Greater Kashmir that "on the basis of complaint filed by Kamaraj forest division, we have registered two cases, FIR NO-133 and FIR NO-144 in police station Lalpora. "We have arrested five persons who were named by officials of forest department for setting forests on fire and around 35 more persons are wanted in these two FIRs. Investigations are underway and we will soon arrest them too," he added.
The fire has also spread to areas along LoC in Lashdutt, Dholack, Ring Contour and Dutt areas of Kupwara district after the Indian and Pakistan armies exchanged fire on Oct 29.