Forest fire in Pahalgam damage trees, wild animals saved

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Srinagar, Nov 13 (UNI) Fire in Pahalgam woods in south Kashmir has damaged hundreds of trees during the past five days as authorities have now reportedly sought the help of helicopters to douse the leaping flames.

Reports said scores of villagers, who had gone into forest to collect dry grass and wood, had not yet returned.

We have controlled the fire in our sanctuary, spread over 20 hacters of forest land, a senior wildlife department officer Imtiyaz Ahmad told UNI.

He said wildlife officials from different parts of the south Kashmir besides from here were put into service to control the fire.

The local people living adjacent to sanctuary also helped the wildlife officials to douse the flames, the officer said.

The officer, who remained on the spot till the fire was controlled yesterday at 1100 hrs, said not a single tree was affected by the fire because of timely action by the wildlife officials and locals.

He said it was still smouldering from some fallen trees and grass.

This will not pose any fresh threat of fire in the sanctuary, he said adding smoke will continue for two to three more days. However, if there is rain it will end automatically, he said.

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