India — Thousands of valuable trees mostly teak and many precious herbal plants were completely gutted in a major forest fire which broke out on Barunei Hills today. The fire spread in more than 250 acres of forest land, which is about half of the total forest area, sources said. While the fire at the foot of the hills could be extinguished, the high lands is still under the rage of the fire. Smoke was seen billowing out of the unreachable upper parts of the hills till late evening. Though the cause of the fire has not yet been ascertained, many suspect that some vested interest people have caused the fire. A technical institute is located close to the fire site. The fire broke out at about 11 a.m. and within hours, engulfed the most of the forest area. Two fire brigades were pressed into service. The DFO Mr G Rajesh said that the priority would be to extinguish fire. “We will then find out the reason behind the mishap and act accordingly,” he said.