India — A major fire is raging in Awoora forests of Kehmil division in north Kashmirs Kupwara district for the past two days. With blowing winds fire has engulfed a massive portion of forest cover damaging scores of deodar and fir trees, locals said. They said fire was first seen in compartment number 6 of Zurhama area which later spread to compartment number 9 LB falling along side boundary of Awoora area. Locals said that within hours fire engulfed at least 2 sq km area of dense forest cover. Abdul Hameed, a local said: We informed the concerned forest officials in the day that fire had spread but they didnt turn up till Tuesday morning. A couple of forest employees today came to the area to control fire but failed as winds are helping it spread to other areas, added Hameed. Residents of the area alleged that an organized network of smugglers was active in the area for the past two years and alleged that forests were intentionally set on fire in connivance with concerned forest officials to burn the trunks of smuggled trees. DFO Kehmil Forest Division Bashir Ahmad said: Fire broke out in compartment No 6 of Munwan Awoora. There is no need to panic as it is a ground fire and area doesnt have thick trees. We have controlled up to 90 per cent of fire and have made rings around the affected area.