VALPOI: The fire at Mhadei, Bhironda on Friday afternoon damaged cashew orchards as well as the forested area. The fire was also reported just three days back at Advai which is merely a few meters from yesterday's site. Locals have suspected foul play as the fire incidents are on rise with cashew season at peak at the moment.
Locals rushed to the site and attempted to valiantly fight the blazes in vain but the sweltering summer heat fanned by strong winds kept the flames moving further. The locals then alerted the Valpoi fire station who was able to bring the situation under control after two hours. Although the fire has been completely doused, locals have claimed that major damage has been caused to the cashew plantations and the forested area nearby.
"Fire incidents are being reported in the area frequently in the last four days. The reason behind the fire is yet to be ascertained but if someone is intentionally torching the orchards then it is indeed unfortunate," said Bhironda sarpanch Uday Singh Rane.
The exact figure of the loss will come to the fore after panchnama is conducted.