Forest Department steps up vigil against wildfire

Vulnerable locations where wildfire had caused huge damage have been identified for better surveillance.   | Photo Credit: MUSTAFAH K.K.

The Forest Department, on the directive of the Disaster Management Authority (DMA), has intensified scientific measures to prevent wildfire in vulnerable areas in Kozhikode district.

Apart from ensuring more fire lines, controlled burning will be considered as part of the hazard reduction strategy around the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary.

In case of staff shortage, staff from the Fire and Rescue Services Department will be deputed to protect vulnerable areas. Fire extinguishers will be arranged in such a way that staffers can quickly reach out to distant places.

According to Forest officials, some of the most vulnerable locations where wildfire caused huge damage had been identified for better vigil. Night patrol and regular patrol by watchers and Forest squad will be strengthened in those locations.

Local administrators and officials of the Department of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have also been asked to cooperate with the intensive wildfire mitigation measures. A special control room number will be circulated soon across the district to improve surveillance by the public.

Meanwhile, Forest officials said they would form range-level squads to monitor and control wildfire. The main responsibility of the squads will be to prevent illegal entry by visitors and camp fires. They will also ensure that visitors never carry inflammable materials. People involved in poaching cases will be monitored by a separate squad.

Subsequent to the directives of the DMA, a few local bodies have begun forming their own voluntary forces to tackle fire outbreaks. Various emergency response teams and local voluntary organisation groups will be part of such local forces.

The relocation of tribal families from vulnerable areas is also under the consideration of the SC/ST Welfare Department. Efforts are also on to ensure audit and safety of tribal hamlets in advance to meet challenges. Besides, temporary rehabilitation facilities will be arranged.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 4:23:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/forest-department-steps-up-vigil-against-wildfire/article34009726.ece

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