Uttarakhand today said it has urged theCentre to declare the forest fires, which have so far destroyed 2,426 hectares of jungles in the state, as&aposnatural disaster&apos.The state government has written a letter to this effect to theMinistry ofEnvironment and Forests, a senior official said here.
A request has been made to theCentre that forest fire, which has become an alarming problem in the hill state, should be declared natural disaster, he said.
With mercury soaring and the heat wave gripping the hill state, the state forest department has warned that wildfires would rage further.
Forest fires in the state have so far claimed five lives and injured 15 others, including nine forest personnel.
According to the official, the state government has also urged theCentre to provide firefighting equipments, train human resources and other things required to control the fire at the earliest to save lives of human as well as wild animals.
Meanwhile,Chief Minister B CKhanduri has asked the district administration to provide an assistance of Rs one lakh each to the next of the kins of the five people killed and Rs 50,000 to those burnt seriously while dousing forest fires in the jungles ofGagwara inPauri district on May 1.