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Forest blaze: No end to devastation as more areas report fire

Forest fires continue spreading unabated in the hill state with 1,336 such incidents reporting till 2 pm on Friday.

dehradun Updated: May 25, 2018 22:16 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
Wildfires have gutted 2,895 hectare forest cover, including 33.2 hectare of plantation, in the state since the begging of forest fire season on February 15.(HT Photo)

Forest fires continue spreading unabated in the hill state with 1,336 such incidents reporting till 2 pm on Friday, an official said.

Wildfires have gutted 2,895 hectare forest cover, including 33.2 hectare of plantation, in the state since the begging of forest fire season on February 15, the official said. In addition, 520 hectare of resin was burnt to ashes, posing revenue loss of ₹58.16 lakh.

The maximum loss was reported in Garhwal circle, where 680 wildfire incidents took place, damaging 1739.85 hectare cover, including 13.5 plantation area, and posing revenue loss of ₹36.34 lakh.

Following is the Kumaon circle that recorded 388 such incidents. In the circle , 809.93 hectare, including 12.5 hectare of plantation area, were gutted, posing revenue loss of ₹16.19 lakh.

The forest department is initiating an intensive drive to nab culprits who are putting fire. Such incidents were reported in Mussoorie and Pauri divisions.

“Our crew stations are disseminating information on forest fire so that staff could reach on the spot,” said BP Gupta, nodal officer for forest fire.

Meanwhile, the forest department has released contact number of control room located in its headquarters. People can directly report forest fire incident to control room number 7900599996.

This will ensure participation of the locals and quick response to the calamity. “The control room will give access to the people to report the fire incidents in person,” Gupta added.

According to Forest Survey of India website, forest fire alerts in Uttarakhand on Friday was 473 until filing of the report. However, there are chances of overlapping. On May 24, over 700 alerts were generated in the hill state.

Uttarakhand continues to top the charts in recording highest alerts in the country since May 18.

During this period, over 4,500 alerts were recorded followed by Himachal Pradesh with 2500 alerts. Jammu and Kashmir recorded around 1,500 alerts.

Since the beginning of the year, Madhya Pradesh has reported maximum fire alerts of over 30,000. Maharashtra, Odisha and Chhattisgarh recorded alerts from 20,000 to 30,000 and Mizoram is slightly above 10,000 alerts.

Forest force head Jai Raj last week cancelled leaves of all officers and staff in view of forest fire season that begins on February 15 and concludes in June 15 every year.

First Published: May 25, 2018 22:16 IST