INDIA – Haridwar: State forest minister Harak Singh Rawat on Thursday conducted a meeting of forest officials in Rudraprayag and directed them to ensure that forest fires are tackled effectively this season.
“This year, the forest department will try to minimize fire using the best technology and ensure that fire incidences don’t cross last year’s mark,” Rawat said at the meeting.
Notably, the forest department is yet to demarcate fire lines across the 13 districts to prevent spreading of wildfires.
The officials have identified 13,917 kilometres of forest lines out of which only 5,000 kms has been created so far.
Giving reasons for not demarcating the forest line, the forest officials at the meeting said, “Snowfall and erratic weather played a spoilsport in clearing the fire lines.”
Last year, around 3,844 hectares of forest cover was gutted in wildfires, and the department pegged the loss at Rs 75 lakh.
For handling the wildfire situation, the department has set up 40 master control rooms, 175 watchtowers and availability of crew members across all 1, 437 crew stations.
The officials have identified 13,917 kilometres of forest lines out of which only 5,000 kms has been created so far