SRINAGAR: Authorities had to use the film foam in a remote Banihal village to control a ferociously escalating conflagration, reports reaching here said. Most of the village was saved though part of it is still smouldering.
Reports said that a fierce fire erupted from a two-storyed house in Hijwa village in Banihal. Perched on a mountain, it is almost 28 km from the main town and inaccessible by road for the last many kilometres.
The fire escalated quickly and so far it destroyed almost 12 homes leaving 32 families without shelters.
Hijwa is home to around 80 houses but the particle cluster has around 24 houses, of whom half were saved. Though hundreds of people from neighbouring villages along with the army and the police reached the spot, the distance in the water source was key to the damage. Though the authorities later employed some water pumps by then the damage was done, residents said.
As the water availability was difficult, the army used some chemicals on the cluster of houses that helped prevent the escalation of the fire.
Deputy Commissioner Ramban, Masrat ul Islam visited the belt and said the IAF choppers will sprinkle some chemicals that will prevent them from catching fire. People are waiting for the choppers to fly the chemical, reports added.
The village being off the road, most of the houses are old fashioned, having a lot of timber. This makes them vulnerable to fire. The high altitude adds the speedy wind factor too.