LoC Forest Fire Triggers Over 5 Mine Blasts

27 May 2009
News Agency of Kashmir

Jammu: Over 5 land mines explosions have been triggered along the Line of Control (LoC) due to the forest fire in Balnoi area of Mendhar area of district Poonch since this morning. Reports reaching here said that massive fire broke out from forest compartment number 128 which is shared by both the countries along Line of control (LoC) and has spread in Forest Range Compartment No. 127 of the Poonch Forest division. “The fire started from forest compartment No 128 in Sagra Balnoi in Tata Pani Area of Mendhar in the morning”, Sources said adding Doraha forests also catch fire and about 5 mine blasts were heard besides leopards and bears were seen running from the jungles. They said fire engulfed forests destroying green gold and their inhabitants and forced even the troops guarding the LoC to shift their location. “Army troops manning the LoC were working under the thick clouds of smoke and heat. However, with a timely action they have secured their positions from the spreading blaze”, sources added. Forest officials said that Fire Service tenders assisted by Army and Forest Protection Force teams were helping Forest department to contain fire. They carried out operation along the road but it was not possible to go deep inside the forest. Several villagers were also helping agencies to control the fire. A Defence spokesman Lt Col Biplab Nath confirmed the fire incident and told News Agency of Kashmir that fire was under control till last reports came in. The spokesman said there is no loss to the life and the property. “The fire which broke out from the forests in Balnoi was very much under control and was not of high magnitude”, Lt Col Nath added.