India — At-least 20-25 land mines exploded in a devastating forest fire that broke out in the forward area of Krishna Ghati sector in Mendhar tehsil of Poonch district, today.
Official reports said that fire broke out in the forests along LoC at 2.30 PM and it spread the area within minutes. Troops of 3 Grenadier regiment tried to douse the blaze but it continued to spread along LoC. At-least 20-25 land mines exploded in the blaze and instruments including Night Vision Devices (NVDs) installed at the LoC to check infiltration were damaged. The deafening sounds of land mine explosions were heard from far off places.
Reports claimed that the fire spread along two Indian forward Posts Kranti and Kirpan at around 2.30 PM due to unknown reasons. Panic struck among the villagers living in this forward area while army alongwith the teams of forest departments were on job to control the blaze. The fire was still on when reports last came in.
The sky rocketing flames of the forest fire were seen from far off places. As the area is covered with dense forest and tough terrains, the fire tender and water tankers failed to reach the area.
Forest produce worth lakhs of rupees was also gutted in the blaze.
Ram Rattan Sharma DFO Poonch when contacted said that they have got information that fire broke out in forest enclosure at Krishna Ghati sector causing big loss to the green gold. He said that the fire fighting operation was launched by army authorities as it was on Actual Line of Control. However, when asked about exact loss in fire, he did not comment saying the exact figure of loss will assessed tomorrow.