Forest fires wreak havoc in Chamba, deputy ranger dies trying to douse flames
A deputy ranger of forest department died trying to douse the flames while three youths sustained burn injuries in separate forest fire incidents in Chamba district in the last two days.
Deputy ranger, Ashok Kumar, was a resident of Pukhri in Chamba district.He was leading a seven-member team in dousing a fire raging in Bengla forest at Jot on Tuesday evening, divisional forest officer (DFO), Dalhousie, Rakesh Katoch said.
He fell off into a gorge after slipping on a slope and died on the spot, the officer said, adding that his body has been handed over to family members after postmortem.
Three youths sustained burn injuries while trying to put out fire that started in Fagot forest of Bhatiyat assembly segment in the district. Injured Kewal Ram, Anoop and Rakesh were rushed to the hospital at Nurpur.
In another incident of forest fire, a 133-year-old church and an old building belonging to the Military Engineering Services of the Indian Army in Bakloh cantonment were damaged.
Chuwari station house officer (SHO), Dharm Singh Thakur said the the loss is being assessed in the incident.
Ten districts of Himachal, except Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti, have been affected by forest fires this summer. Over 3,000 hectares of forests have been gutted while a total seven people have died.