NAINITAL (Uttarakhand Fire): Latest satellite images show that of the 427 forest fires in Uttarakhand, 70 per cent have been doused, the National Disaster Response Force or NDRF has said. The Army, the Air Force, three teams of the NDRF and 6,000 firefighters have been working round the clock to save the forest covers in the state.
10 Developments in Uttarakhand Fire
- “It is expected that these figures (110-115 locations) will be brought down to 50-60 in the next few days by the combined forces fighting to douse the jungle fire,” NDRF Director General O P Singh told news agency Press Trust of India on Sunday.
- Mi-17 helicopters of the Air Force are deployed in the state to carry water from the Bhimtal lake and help douse the fires.
- The National Disaster Response Force has pressed 130 members into service, each team is handling an area of 8 to 10 km, beating down the fire with green bushes.
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh has held discussions with chief secretary and other officials of the Uttarakhand government. The Prime Minister’s Office has also been briefed.
- “The government is taking the forest fires of Uttarakhand very seriously. We have granted Rs. 5 crore to the state yesterday,” said Union minister Prakash Javadekar.
- The Congress has attacked the Centre over the forest fires, claiming over 5,500 hectares of valuable flora and fauna have been lost.
- “On one side Modi government is fuelling the fire of political defection and on the other, has miserably failed to tackle one of the biggest environmental tragedies of recent times,” said Congress’ leader Randeep Surjewala.
- The fires in Uttarakhand have been burning for nearly 3 months, destroying close to 3,000 acres of forest cover so far. In the last one month alone, around 1,200 fires have broken out in the state, Mr Javadekar has said.
- In the neighbouring states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, satellite pictures had captured images of active fires. Till Saturday, over 1,300 fires were raging across the hilly regions of north India.
- The government is starting a satellite picture-based fire alarm system that will send out text messages to the authorities every time a fresh fire is detected.
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