Forest fires rage in Palampur

Forest fires rage in Palampur

2022-04-13 01:34:31

Ravinder Sood

Palampur, April 12

Forest fires have destroyed valuable green wealth in Dhauladhars of the Kangra valley in the past one week. Forests adjoining Palampur in Kandi, Bundla, Kandwari, Mehanja, and Paror are on fire.

A number of pine forests spread over hundreds of acres are on fire. In many areas, villagers have been trying to douse fires along with forest officials.

Nitin Patil, DFO, Palampur, says fires in the upper hills of Dhauladhars are mostly caused by humans, but forests are more vulnerable when conditions are favourable for such incidents.

Patil says that keeping in view the large number of fires in the pine forests of Palampur, a control room has been set up in his office.

A team of 350 volunteers has also been constituted in Palampur division and given mobile phones to remain in touch with each other to meet any emergency.

He says that people residing near forests have been directed not to burn pastures in a radius of 500 metres of forests.

“Climate change has certainly a role to play. If there are periodic showers in jungles, trees and plants remain moist and there is less possibility of fire breakout. Small fires do not change the structure of forests, which rejuvenate themselves, but if the frequency of fires is as high as we are witnessing now, it is problematic. Also, in April and May, people in the hills burn dry grass, often triggering forest fires,” says a senior scientist of HP Agriculture University.

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