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Army deployed in Uttarakhand as forest fire spreads to Nainital

A massive fire broke out in pine forests near Nainital, causing a large part of the forest and the ITI building to be partially burned.

uttrakhand fireDEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand government has mobilized the Air Force’s Mi-17 helicopter to combat the intense fire raging in Nainital and the surrounding forests.

The helicopter quickly engaged to draw water from the Bhimtal lake and douse the flames in the Pines area.

The Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Pramod Kumar told TNIE, “The wildfire has been spreading uncontrollably from the pine forests to the Lariyakanta forests. Efforts are being made with the assistance of a helicopter to extinguish and contain the fire”.

The forests of Pines, Bhumiadhar, Jyolikot, Narayannagar, Bhouwali, Ramgarh, Mukteshwar, among others, located near Nainital, are currently engulfed in severe blazes.

A massive fire broke out in pine forests near Nainital, causing a large part of the forest and a nearby ITI building was partially burnt.

The forest of Ladiyakanta in Nainital was also engulfed in fire. After receiving information from the locals, the fire brigade team reached the forest fire and barely controlled the fire.

Due to the fire, the road from Nainital to Bhawali has been filled with dense smoke, due to which the movement of vehicles was disrupted for hours.

Forest department sources revealed that the wildfires are spreading rapidly due to limited rainfall, affecting dry forests in the region. To address this escalating threat, the fire department and forest department have intensified their efforts.

The severity of the situation has led to the deployment of army personnel to assist in containing the fires.

Nishant Verma, the Uttrakhand’s forest department’s nodal officer for forest fires, told, “As of April 25, the forest department has recorded 146 cases of ‘man-made’ fire incidents. Of these, 17 individuals have been identified, leaving 129 cases where the perpetrators remain unknown”.

“Active measures are underway to uncover the identities of the remaining individuals involved in these incidents”, added Verma.

Nodal officer Nishant Verma said, “Forest fire incidents have increased since the second week of April and they are making every effort to stop it. Most of the cases are being reported from the Kumaon region, for which our teams are actively working to control the forest fires with the participation of the villagers According to official data from the forest department, “Uttarakhand witnessed 544 incidents of forest fire from 1 November 2023 to 25 April this year, of which more than 656.55 hectares of forest land was destroyed”.

Out of the total damaged land, 234.45 hectares was in Garhwal region, 370.45 hectares in Kumaon region and 51.65 hectares in administrative wildlife area.

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