10,000 People Will Try To Put Out Uttarakhand's Forest Fire On War Footing In Next 3-4 Days

02/05/2016 8:46 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images
UTTARAKHAND, INDIA - MAY 1: Forest fire approaching very close to the residential area at Buakhal near Pauri on Saturday night, on May 1, 2016 in Uttarakhand, India. Two Indian Air Force (IAF) choppers began spraying water over the burning forests in Uttarakhand on Sunday morning. Major forest fires raged across Uttarakhand even as two Indian Air Force (IAF) choppers have begun spraying water to extinguish the flames. Presently, some 5,000 workers -- including 3,000 daily wagers -- are engaged in putting out the fire. More than 2300 hectares of forest have been gutted in the fire since it was first reported in February this year. Dry winters and soaring temperatures are blamed for the fire that has affected all 13 districts of the state. (Photo by Arvind Moudgil/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Union Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar has said he has asked to deploy more than 10,000 employees to put out the Uttarakhand forest fire in three-four days.

"More than 6,000 employees are already on the job, while DG (Forest) is leading and coordinating the operation from the front for the past two days," he said, adding that t6he government has already sanctioned the required amount.

"The Prime Minister's Office (PMO), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and Indian Air Force are working in tandem, and I am sure that the fire will be put out in three-four days," he added.

We have been informed that fresh images from satellite has shown that the effective area under fire in Uttarakhand has come down to 110-115 locations from the earlier about 427.

Speaking about the reason behind the fire, he said extreme dry weather with no humidity was the reason behind the massive fire.

Latest satellite imageries of Uttarakhand have reported that the forest fire has gone out in over 70 per cent of the affected areas, even as the NDRF has deployed over 130 personnel to tackle the massive blaze.

"We have been informed that fresh images from satellite has shown that the effective area under fire in Uttarakhand has come down to 110-115 locations from the earlier about 427.

"It is expected that these figures 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 PTI.

uttarakhand forest fire

He said the images from the sky were taken on April 29-30 and this has now given hope to all the agencies combating the fire that it will be contained soon.

The Director General said the NDRF men are also working to save animals who could have been trapped in the blazing fire.

A squad of over 135 personnel of this special force are deployed in Uttarakhand as part of multiple firefighting teams to combat the fire that has destroyed about 2,269 hectares of jungles in several districts and claimed at least seven lives till now.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have spread out in 13 affected areas of three districts of Pauri Garhwal, Almora and Chamoli with fire fighting equipment to tackle the massive blaze.

"Our teams are working in 13 sectors in coordination with the officials and personnel of the state fire and forest department. The teams have been instructed to adopt the conventional method of cutting the fire line and containing the fire. We are using fire beaters and green bushes to cut the fire from spreading. About 135 personnel as part of multiple teams are working in Uttarakhand at present," Singh said.

uttarakhand forest fire

He said in Chamoli the NDRF is working in Pakhi and Gopeshwar areas, while in Almora the teams are working in areas like Binsar, Someshwar, Bikisen, Siplakhet and Dhauladevi.

Each team is covering an area of 8-10 sq km, he said, adding, additional NDRF teams have been kept on standby at its camp in Ghaziabad.

The force also saved a house from getting engulfed in the fire in the hilly jungle area of Mehlchori in Pauri district in which a family of four members lived.

Singh said he is in constant touch with his team leaders working in the state.

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