Agriculture and Environment

45 forest fires in 24 hrs, Uttarakhand reaches out to Centre

UTTARAKHAND- with the constant changes and heatwaves and other relative reasons, over 1,000 cases of forest fires reported within a time span of 6 months, including 45 new forest fires in the last 24 hours. 

On Sunday, after analyzing the situation is worsening, reached out to the Centre for helicopters and other needed personnel from the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force). Also, an emergency meeting was held by Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat for the government and concerned authorities. 

On the other hand, Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted that he has been briefed about the situation by Rawat and that directions have been issued to send the equipment and personnel needed. 

Meanwhile, in the emergency meeting, it has been directed that Forest Officials and district authorities will not sanction any type of leave for their staff until the situation is bright under control. 

The data has been released by the CMO (Chief Minister’s Office), that over 12,000 Forest personnel have been integrated for the task of fire-fighting operations in the region. It also shows 1,028 incidents of forest fires which affected around 1,359 hectares since 1 October 2021. The main reasons are Nainital, Almora, Tehri, Pauri Garhwal. 

Moreover, around 7 animals and 5 people are reported dead. The officials said that the situation is alarming due to the peak time, which is yet to come. “The peak time is the third week of May when the temperature is the highest. But 2021, it started before only that was the first week of April. 

The meteorological department  predicted rain on april 6 and 7. And they may bring some relief to the fire. But, due to the dry spell, the situation can get worse, said by the official. 

Lastly, the CM associated most of these fires with some deliberate activities such as crop residue in farms may also be a factor. “It has been discerned that most of the events are triggered by unwanted elements. Ashok Kumar said while evaluating the reasons behind it- this is a punishable offense, people should inform the police about such elements, around 278 incidents were reported in March. Officials also stated that 2 people died in separate incidents in January and two in last, and another death was reported in the last two days. 

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