The prolonged dry spell in Uttarakhand has led to forest fires in the hills, with two deaths reported in the Uttarakashi district.
Kamla devi and her daughter in-law Jamuna Devi of village Bharkot were caught in the fire and succumbed to their injuries on Tuesday, officials said on Wednesday. Both had gone to collect fodder from the jungle near their village. When neither returned home in the evening, their relatives went to look for them and found their bodies.
Ramesh Chandra, DFO Garhwal forest division told HT that the fire season normally starts towards the middle or end of February and ends with the commencement of the monsoons, but this year, reports of forest fires started coming in by late January.
“A controlled fire has already started in the reserve forest and 160 fire crew stations would be set up to fight forest fires,” said Chandra, adding that 1,199 forest employees would be pressed into the fire fighting force.