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JammuMost fires are man-made: Nowshera DFO on Forest Fire in Rajouri

Most fires are man-made: Nowshera DFO on Forest Fire in Rajouri


Tawi, May 31: After multiple factors have sparked a series of forest fires in the Nowshera Sub-Division of Rajouri District, Shweta Deonia, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) said on Friday that most of the fire are manmade and in rarest of rare cases, they occur naturally.

“We have 11 blocks in the Nowshera division and we put five fire watchers in each block. When any fire incident happens, we engage every fire watcher in that place. The only good thing is that these are ground fires and we try that they don't get converted into crown fires. As it is very difficult to manage crown fire. We can control ground fires with the instruments available to us. It's our observation that rarely there occurs any natural fire, most of them are manmade, or anthropogenic,” Shweta Deonia, DFO, Forest Division in Nowshera said.

She also mentioned that people smoking cigarettes and throwing their buds in the forest area, which gets dry during summers is also one of the factors in increasing forest fires.

“At this time our whole area is filled with Chir Pine which gets dry during this time and people smoke cigarettes and throw its bud there. Even a small spark takes a fierce form. I appeal to people to avoid forest areas, especially using cigarettes and any other such things,” she said.

“We have 24 teams of the forest department. We have a shortage of manpower. Every year we get a lot of retirements. So it is obvious that there is a shortage of staff,” the DFO added.

Meanwhile, Forest Fire is still in the Nowshera subdivision in Chingus and Sunderbani Range as the region experiences temperature rise and thus heatwaves.

The resultant smoke has severely polluted the air, reducing visibility and posing risks to residents and travellers alike.

The local people, including those living near the forest, as well as small market vendors, hotel owners, shopkeepers, and dhaba operators, are grappling with the adverse effects of the fires and the accompanying smoke.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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