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news details
With sticks, Forest employees douse fire in Shangus forests
7/3/2020 11:31:12 PM
Saahil Suhail
Early Times Report

Anantnag, July 3: With sticks and spades, over three hundred employees of Anantnag Forest Department have finally managed to douse the forest fire in Kuthar range of Anantnag Forest Division after twenty four hours.
According to official sources the ground fire had erupted during the intervening night of 2nd and 3rd July in Compartment No. 72 and 73; however locals contested the official claims and told Early Times that fire erupted two days ago. A spot visit, by this reporter, found a number of Forest department employees dousing the fire inside the forest in Sheikhnad area of Shangus. “The fire has spread to vast area and damaged the forest,” employees told Early Times.
However, the forest fire also exposed the department’s ‘Forest Fire Control Mechanism’ as most of the employees were spotted dousing flames with sticks.
“We don’t have any special equipment for dousing the fire,” they said, adding they aren’t even being provided gears including fire dress, shoes and other necessary equipments.
Most of the employees, who were spotted dousing the flames, on being asked disclosed that they causal laboers and were working without wages from last several years in the department.
Spot visit also revealed that the fire has damaged a vast area and damaged stems of Kail trees. “Those trees whose stems suffered damages due to fire will likely fell during winter,” employees said.
Divisional Forest Officer Anantnag, Feroz Ahmad informed that fire has affected around 15 Hectares of forest land in the area. He however said that it hasn’t damaged the crop.
“Employees of all ranges were brought here to control the fire and in just 24 hours we managed to control it,” he said.
DFO admitted that they were facing the shortage of equipments especially modern equipments which are now being used to control the forest fire. “Yes we face shortage of equipments. We don’t have single fire extinguisher here,” he added.
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