India– The state government has planned to provide incentives to villagers, living in the vicinity of forests, for taking initiatives to prevent forest fire.
Forest and environment department secretary Suresh Mohapatra on Thursday said, “‘The government will formulate standard operating procedures (SOP) to prevent wild fires in forests.
A guideline will be prepared to fix accountability, right from from the divisional forest officer to the level of forest guards.”
The forest department has also chalked out a plan to train village committee members in standard procedures to prevent forest fire.
Sources in the department said a large number of fire-fighting equipment will bebought for the purpose. Villagers will be armed with blowers -an equipment to contain fire-for extinguishing fire in forests.
Sometimes people burn a patch of forest cover to clear it for the purpose of farming. During this process, fire spreads to other areas, destroying trees and killing wild animals.
“We are planning to create barriers to prevent outbreak of wildfire in forests. It will separate a stretch of forest from another to stop the spread of fire,” said Mohapatra.
He added that the state government has allotted funds for the programme. The department will implement the programme by utilizing funds from Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) and central government schemes.
The state has deployed around 2,000 watchmen in forests across the state to take a stock of forest fires.