At least 40 active incidents of forest fire have been reported in Uttarakhand, following which the Centre rushed NDRF teams and helicopters for assistance. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat on Sunday held an emergency meeting on the prevailing situation and apprised Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
In Uttarakhand, forest fires usually start from February and continue for four months, but the state witnessed wildfires even during winter this time.
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR
- The areas affected by forest fires include Nainital, Almora, Tehri Garhwal and Pauri Garhwal.
- According to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat, about 12,000 forest workers and 1,300 crew stations have been set up to control the situation.
- Since January this year, there have been 983 incidents of forest fire in the state affecting 1,292 hectares of land, officials said.
- Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat has apprised Union Home Minister Amit Shah about the current forest fire situation in the state.
- Amit Shah has rushed two helicopters and National Disaster Response Force teams to the state to minimise loss of lives and property due to the wildfires.
- One helicopter will be stationed in Gauchar which will collect water from Shrinagar and the other will be stationed in Haldwani which will collect water from the Bhimtal lake to extinguish the forest fires.
- Forest department officials have been asked not to take any leave and keep a close watch on the situation, the chief minister said, adding bushes around residential areas are being cleared so that the forest fires do not spread there.
- A major reason for rising forest fire incidents in the state is the paucity of rain during winter. Rainfall during winter was less than normal this year, he said.