Uttarakhand’s Rudraprayag forest division launches app to monitor forest fires
The mobile application also has information on fire awareness along with a provision for people to volunteer and help the forest department in controlling fires.Updated: May 10, 2020 08:31 IST
For real time monitoring of forest fires, the Rudraprayag division on Saturday launched a mobile application.
Called Forest Fire Rudraprayag, the application will help officials monitor such incidents better with real time location of active fires on Google Map. Using the application, people can report forest fires through geo-tagged images.
The application also enables people to track the location of fire fighting vehicles and crew on a real-time basis.
“Our main aim with this application is to reduce the response time. We have mapped our fire crew stations, plantations, van panchayats along with type of forests. As soon as a new fire is detected by Forest Survey of India, we can put the input received from FSI on our system and know the exact location of the fire, whether it is in a pine forest or a plantation or civil forest,” said Vaibhav Singh, divisional forest officer of Rudraprayag division.
He said that officials will be able to inform a crew station and concerned person about the fire incident using the application.
“By the time we send the secondary team, someone will already be there to deal with the situation. Anyone using the application will be able to find out how far the fire is from their current location and plan to use resources accordingly. The same will be monitored from the master control room,” said Singh.
The mobile application also has information on fire awareness along with a provision for people to volunteer and help the forest department in controlling fires.
The application has features like mapping of all fire crew stations so as to ascertain the first respondent, elaborate list of actions based on colour code circulated to the public, mapping of forest types along with density in master control room to determine the threat and ease of spreading of fire. It also has details of a person in-charge for plantations, nurseries, van panchayats to help in the fight against forest fire.
This week, to spread awareness amongst locals about preventing forest fires, Rudraprayag division had also put up posters using famous dialogues from films like Sholay, Dabang, Dirty Picture and so on.
Around 1,500 such posters were made, and 200 of them being put up in every forest range. The posters also give information on punishment for setting forests on fire, that is, a fine of Rs 5,000 and imprisonment up to two years. It also has the fire control room numbers mentioned so that people can call and alert the department about any fire incident.
So far, no case of forest fire has been reported from the Rudraprayag division this year, but total 18 incidents of forest fire have been reported from Uttarakhand with a loss of 11.03 hectares of forest area.
In Uttarakhand, 0.17% of total forest cover is extremely fire prone, 1.60% comes under very highly fire prone, 9.32% under highly fire prone, 21.66% under moderately fire prone and 67.25% under less fire prone category. Since the formation of the state in the year 2000, over 44,554 hectares of the forest area has been damaged in forest fires accruing a loss of over Rs 185 lakh, revealed an RTI reply by the Uttarakhand government last year.
Uttarakhand forest department has around 174 watchtowers and 1,437 station crews across the state to keep a tab on the forest fires and take measures to check them.