Four cases of forest fire in Uttarakhand in a week, 2 months before season arrives
The Forest Survey of India (FSI) has detected at least four instances of forest fire from various parts of the state, two months before the season begins.
Officials put the beginning of forest fire season around the middle of February and say it lasts until the end of June.
On Saturday, fire was reported from a forest in Almora district’s Someshwar region, and is said to have reportedly destroyed many shrubs and different varieties of grasses. “Locals had burnt some plastic waste outside a temple, which is located higher up. From there, the fire spread to the lower regions,” said Bishan Arya, a forest ranger in Someshwar village.
Responding to the locals’ complaint that the fire department took a lot of time in sending a team to douse the fire, Arya said that the area, which falls under the van panchayat’s control, was difficult to navigate through due to its terrain.
Over the past week, the FSI has alerted about forest fires detected from the Kotigad range in the Tons forest division, the Malta range in the Chakrata forest division, and the Suwa range in the Pithoragarh forest division.
Principal chief conservator of forests Jai Raj had conducted a meeting with all divisional forest officers in November where the state forest department was tasked to be ready with a strategy to prevent fire incidents by December. However, there has been no update on that.
The department had also decided to connect all the heads of van panchayat with the Geographic Information System-based information to know about a fire-affected area in real time and respond to it accordingly.