Rains may have scaled down Uttarakhand forest fires

Air Force’s MI-17 helicopters continued to spray waters in the forests by conducting a number of sorties in Tehri and Pauri districts.

Dehradun: Following scattered rainfall in Uttarakhand, forest fires across the hill state on Wednesday slowly began to scale down after creating havoc for the past one week.

Scattered rains occurred at a number of places on Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning which in turn helped in extinguishing a number of the blazes, said Man Singh, the nodal officer of the state forest department on forest fires.

“Rains occurred last night at number of places and we expect these fire incidents to come down,” said Singh.

Amidst severe drought and raging forest fires, the Met Department on Tuesday had predicted rains for the next one to two days.

Meanwhile, the Air Force’s MI-17 helicopters continued to spray waters in the forests by conducting a number of sorties in Tehri and Pauri districts.

In each sortie, the helicopters showered 4,000-5,000 liters of waters despite the envelopment of the smog.

In the last 36 hours, the forest fires have destroyed 105 hectares of forests in the hill states with a total 75 new incidents.

Director General of Police (DGP) Ashok Kumar said the state police is also helping in controlling the fires.

Over 12,000 of forest department personnel are working to douse the fires. Besides, locals and those belonging to Van Panchayat are also helping.

Forest fires are natural during the summer seasons, although they have occurred on the bigger scale this time due to the prolonged dry-spell.

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