Wildfire menace: 246 hectare gutted in Uttarakhand since February 15 | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Wildfire menace: 246 hectare gutted in Uttarakhand since February 15

Uttarakhand has lost 256-hectare forest cover since February 15, resulting in revenue loss of ₹44 lakh besides causing damage to the environment

dehradun Updated: Mar 24, 2018 21:33 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
The state cabinet, during the ongoing assembly session in Gairsain, approved a budget of ₹8.8 crore for the forest department mainly to deal with forest fire and promote plantation.
The state cabinet, during the ongoing assembly session in Gairsain, approved a budget of ₹8.8 crore for the forest department mainly to deal with forest fire and promote plantation.(HT File)

Uttarakhand has lost 256-hectare forest cover since February 15, resulting in revenue loss of ₹44 lakh besides causing damage to the environment.

Despite a spell of rain this week, the number of wildfire incidents has been swelling.

According to official records, the hill state reported loss of 250 hectare forest cover in revenue and reserve forest while an additional 6 hectare damage to plantation. Overall, 220 fire alerts have been reported so far.

The state cabinet, during the ongoing assembly session in Gairsain, approved a budget of ₹8.8 crore for the forest department mainly to deal with forest fire and promote plantation.

The disaster management department also received budgetary allocation of ₹1,148 crore to combat natural calamities, including wildfire.

A total of 787 forest staff, 4 police personnel, 6 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel and 333 local people were engaged to deal with the forest fire since the wildfire season began on February 15.

“From fire alerts to ensuring staff at crew stations, we are all prepared to meet the natural issues. We have already cancelled holidays of staff and routine monitoring is being done to ensure that no lacuna remains on ground,” said Jai Raj, Head of Forest Force and principal chief conservator of forest.

Almora district has lost 83.7 hectare forest cover to wildfires while Pauri reported a loss of 82.7 hectare, including plantation.

The recent spell of rain has lowered the temperature in the two districts, but wildfire incidents are still being reported from the there.

“The rainfall helped a bit. But due to rise in temperature, the moisture on the ground has dried quickly and so, fire incidents are still being reported,” said Pushpa Sati of Almora-based women welfare organisation.