Dehradun: Battling forest fires for over a week, the fire-fighting crew in Uttarakhand heaved a sigh of relief on Tuesday with many places lashed by rain, which is expected to extinguish the active fires and leave enough moisture in the grass which will prevent the further occurrence of forest blazes.
Rain Brings Relief To Agencies Battling Forest Fires In U'khand
"It has rained in Dehradun, Rishikesh, Chamoli, Rudraparayag and Tehri districts, bringing a much-needed relief to around 10,000 people engaged in fire-fighting operations in the state for the last several days," Chief Conservator of Forest and nodal officer for forest fires B P Gupta said. "Rain at this time is a blessing for us as it would douse the active fires and make our task much easier," he added.
Apart from dousing the active forest blazes, the showers will wet the grass and prevent the fire from spreading quickly, Gupta said.
Even otherwise, the number of fire alerts has witnessed a decline over the last couple of days.
Only 11 fire alerts were received today as against 35 yesterday, Gupta said. However, the forest fires this season, which were aggravated last week due to a dry spell, have affected a total of 4131.726 hectares of land, he said, adding that the losses due to the forest fires have run up to over Rs 80 lakh so far.
As the forest fires flared up on May 20, the forest department pressed into operation 7,616 personnel, including fire-watchers, 59 from the revenue department, 31 from the police, 18 from the SDRF and six from the NDRF, besides 2,452 locals who volunteered in different parts of the state to lend a helping hand, Gupta said. The MeT department has predicted similar weather conditions over the next few days, which should drastically reduce the number of forest fire incidents, he added.