India — A major fire broke out at the Ghodbunder-end of Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) on Monday evening. The fire spread over a large hill, gutting down many trees in the area.
”We received a call about the fire, which started at 8.30 pm, and immediately sent a team there. The situation was brought under control by 10.30 pm. No animal was injured,” said a senior SGNP official.
Incidentally, this is the fifth case reported in a span of three months. “Such cases will increase in the coming months as the leaves will dry up. Forest fires have an adverse impact on the ecology,” said experts. ”Forest fires have a huge impact on the wildlife habitat and smaller species like reptiles and amphibians will be the most affect,” said Rahul Chowhan, an independent researcher and environment educator.
Last year, there were more than 25 cases of forest fires. The areas that are most Ghodbunder Road, Kavesar, Manpada and Mama Bhanjra Hills.Officials, however, said that there are other reasons for the fires as well. “Sometimes miscreants, who illegally enter the forest, are also a cause.” another official said. P N Munde, director and conservator of SNGP said, ”We have deployed a team of 122 guards along with labourers to prevent such instances. We have also created fire lines at several places, which prevents the fire from spreading to other areas. We are trying our best to curb such instances.”
In spite of the increasing number of fire cases, the forest department continues to use traditional methods and not fire extinguishers to extinguish the fire.A major fire broke out near Ghodbunder Road in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) on Monday evening. The fire was spread on a hill and a large forest area was gutted in the fire.
Forest officials’ state that the fire took place around 8:30 pm and was doused around 10.30 pm. Environmentalists state that this was the fifth instance of major forest fire in the park in the New Year and such instances affect the ecology of the park.
“We received a phone call about the fire and we immediately sent a team to douse the fire. The fire fighting team of 30 rushed to the site and the firewas put out in within an hour,” informed a range forest official at the SGNP, adding, “No major mammal was injured or affected due to the fire.”
Naturalists state that this is just the start of the forest fire season and the cases will only increase as the leaves further dry up. Until now some of the areas affected due to forest fire include Ghodbunder Road, Kavesar, Manpada and Mama – Bhanja Hills.
“Since the summer has just begun, the forest will further dry up and the numbers of forest fires will only increase in the coming months,” said Rahul Chowhan, an independent researcher and environment educator, adding, “Forest fires has a huge impact on the wildlife habitat and smaller species like reptiles and amphibians are amongst the worst affected lot.”
In fact, last year, there had been more than 25 instances of forest fires that had been reported from various areas of the 103 square km park. Forests officials, however, state that some of the other reasons behind the forest fires are miscreants straying into the forest.
Dr. P N Munde, Director and Conservator of SGNP said, “We have deployed a team of 122 patrolling guards along with labourers to control the forest fires. We have also created fire lines at several places in the park, which does not allow the fire the spread to other areas. We are doing all that is possible to reduce such instances.”
Meanwhile, even today, the forest department uses traditional fire fighting methods like dousing fire by using dry tree branches. They do not have access to modern techniques like fire extinguishers to reduce the damage caused by the fires.