Forest fire disrupts traffic on Nowshera-Rajouri road

Alert after fire moves to Ammunition depot
Excelsior Correspondent

RAJOURI, June 4: While the Army authorities sounded alert after the forest fire reached close to an ammunition depot in Nowshera sector today, the movement of traffic was disrupted for about half an hour after the fire engulfed the busy Jammu-Rajouri road near Nowshera area this afternoon.
Reports said that army sounded alert after the fire reached closer to an ammunition depot in Nowshera area. The Army fire tenders and jawans launched a massive operation to contain the fire. They also alerted the civilian population and the civil officers also sent two fire tenders from Nowshera sub-divisional headquarters to the spot.
Though the fire was controlled near the defence location, yet the army was keeping strict vigil in the area. The Forest team along with Forest Protection Force men, was also placed on the job and the joint operation continued till late this evening. However, a scare was created among the villagers of the area and many of them moved to safer places sensing trouble.
The forest fire created obstacle for the movement of vehicular traffic on busy Nowshera-Rajouri road as its flames reached up to the highway. The traffic came to halt at around 4 pm. The police party from Nowshera reached there and the army soldiers from the nearby camp also rushed. For the safety of the passengers they stopped the movement of traffic on the road. The four army and civil fire tenders started extinguishing fire. The forest team also moved to the spot. After half an hour, the traffic was restored on the road.
Reports said that continuously spreading fire in entire Nowshera forest area has created scare in many villages, who are spending sleepless nights. The villagers at their own have been fighting the fire and Forest employees who lack adequate facilities, are unable to contain it.
In Jammu’s Bahu Range across river Tawi, the fire has created scare in Ragura, upper Sunjuwan and adjoining upper Bathindi areas. The Firemen are unable to reach deep inside this forest area and the Forest officials with inadequate manpower are seen hapless. This fire has spread to nearly 2-3 sq kms.
Chief Conservator of Forests, Jammu Ravi Kesar when contacted said that in view of insufficient funds for the purpose, inadequate manpower and other resources, it is very difficult to contain the wild fire. He said the forest officials are also spending sleepless nights while fighting fire but public help is also proving insufficient.
Mr Kesar said FPF jawans are assisting in containing fire and in several areas, it has been contained now. He said in Nowshera, the condition is worst and army help has also been sought. In Bahu Range of Jammu Forest Division, the teams are fighting day and night to contain the fire and senior officials are monitoring it closely. He said with the increasing of temperature, negligence and un-awareness among villagers and the greed of vested interests, these incidents are on the rise.

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