Mercury rise triggers forest fires in Nurpur : The Tribune India

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Mercury rise triggers forest fires in Nurpur

4 incidents in a week | 44.79 hectares of forested land affected so far

Mercury rise triggers forest fires in Nurpur

A fire rages on in Kopra gram panchayat on Thursday. Tribune Photo



Rajiv Mahajan

Nurpur, May 17

The rise in mercury during the past few days has triggered forest fires in several areas under the Nurpur forest division.

As per official information, four devastating fires were reported in Sadwan, Ladori, Dhameta and Jawali forests in the last week.

A day-long fire that broke out in the area adjoining the residential areas of the Kopra gram panchayat on Thursday was doused with the joint efforts of locals and the Forest Department’s field staff. A fire brigade was also deployed in this regard, but it failed to reach the spot due to areas’ topography.

According to locals, the fire, which was first noticed at 10 am yesterday, could only be extinguished at 9 pm last night.

In the absence of financial support from the state government for preventive measures, the Forest Department is hoping for rain showers to extinguish fires.

The around one-month period till the end of June is considered very crucial for the “ill-equipped” field staff of the Forest Department.

As per information, over 20 per cent of the total forest area of the state is prone to frequent fires.

Controlled fires are considered beneficial for the growth of the green forest cover. However, uncontrolled fires trigger massive damage to soil, flora and fauna of forested land. Local environmentalists have stressed the need to devise new strategies and action plans with the active participation of all stakeholders, especially forest-based communities, panchayati raj institutions and local social organisations.

They have demanded that a forest fire management plan be formulated to save the forest wealth of the state, which is being ruined due to fires every year.

According to Nurpur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Amit Sharma, 44.79 hectares of forested land has been affected so far after the four forest fires in the Nurpur forest division, which have caused a loss Rs 1,71,584.

He said forests were common property, which extended benefits to the society.

“It is only with the active assistance and support that the Forest Department can tackle forest fire incidents. Any miscreant who intentionally sets fire to forested land will be dealt with sternly as there is a provision of registration of an FIR against such an individual. Upon conviction, the miscreant can be sentenced to imprisonment for two years and a fine,” he added.

#Nurpur


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