Army assists douse forest fire in Arunachal’s

15 February 2021

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INDIA – Move in response to avoid Katraj hills-like blaze

Alarmed at the possibility of forest fires and wildfires —akin to the one in Katraj — breaking out in the summer months,

forest officials

from the region have finally come up with an action plan. The authorities have decided to enrol


to get early updates of any such untoward incident and help them bring the blaze under control.

Forest guards are set to patrol the areas with the help of citizens. The officials noted that the fires reported from Mhatoba hill, Pashan hill and Taljai hill were controlled by the locals.

Commenting on the move, Rahul Patil, deputy conservator of forests (DCF), Pune, said, “We have created WhatsApp groups, with contact numbers of forest officials and citizens. Independent citizens’ groups are also helping us in the cause. We have also issued 1,925 toll free numbers to get early alerts on such mishaps.”

“Our guards and citizens will get training on crisis control measures to respond to such emergency cases,” he elaborated.

“We are also keeping a strict vigil over people who dump waste along the Ghat section, which often causes the fires.


who burn dry straws to get fresh grass during the monsoon season will also be prosecuted,” he insisted.

The fire that broke out on the

Katraj hills

on February 5 claimed over 800 acres of forest land, including rare species of flora and fauna. It was expected that a strict vigil will be maintained on the Ghat section where piles of garbage are dumped by unknown people and hotels. However, it has come to light that the unknown miscreants once again set a major portion of the land in the ecological hotspot on fire on February 9 to destroy the evidence, with at least 40 spots in the three-kilometre stretch being affected. However, the scale of the flames was not as engulfing as last time.

Our guards and citizens will get training on crisis control measures to respond to such emergency cases

—Rahul Patil, DCF, Pune

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