J&K: Rajouri forest fire disrupts normal life, locals complain of suffocation

Rajouri (Jammu and Kashmir): A severe dry spell and soaring temperatures have sparked a series of forest fires in the Chingus Block and various other forest areas in the Nowshera Sub-Division of Rajouri District of Jammu and Kashmir.

These fires, which began yesterday, disrupted normal life, covering the region in thick smoke and causing widespread distress among the local population. The resultant smoke has severely polluted the air, reducing visibility and posing health risks to residents and travellers alike.

The local people, including those living near the forest, as well as small market vendors, hotel owners, shopkeepers, and dhaba operators, are grappling with the adverse effects of the fires and the accompanying smoke. Mohd. Mustafa Charrakk, the Block Officer of the Chingus Forest Department, highlighted the efforts undertaken by the forest department in controlling the blaze.

“My team has controlled the fire. The area is sloppy, so it needed to be controlled soon. We patrol at night to keep a check on the forest fires. It is a tough task to control these forest fires. Because the temperature is increasing, the fire is taking place in the near forests. As soon as we get information of the fire, we go there and try to bring it under control,” Mohd. Mustafa Charrakk, the Block Officer of the Chingus Forest Department said.

“We also patrol the area during the night to check for any signs of fire,” he added. He also appealed to the locals to assist by promptly notifying the authorities about any fire incidents and cooperating in controlling the blaze.
Mustafa Shabnam, a local urged the fire department to bring the blaze under control as soon as possible or else it could lead to harmful affects on their health.

“The blaze has erupted since last evening here. We are facing suffocation. The Forest department is working but they haven’t been able to control the blaze. We want to appeal to the administration to bring this under control. The blaze has spread in the whole area and it could lead to some harmful problems,” said a local.

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