Forest dept. takes steps to prevent wildfire

Creating fresh fire lines and closely monitoring the entry of visitors, the Forest department is bracing to tackle incidents of wildfire this season around the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary.

Patrol squads are closely monitoring vulnerable areas to adopt scientific preventive measures ahead of summer time.

Fire lines have been installed in some of the problem spots earlier identified by Forest squads.

Besides, controlled burning will be carried out as part of additional safety measures. The department also hopes to source local support for implementing surveillance measures.

“One of the main reasons behind fire is the careless behaviour of some sightseers. We are taking all possible measures to keep an eye on such trekkers,” said a Forest department official from Thamarassery.

He also pointed out that the entry of poachers was another challenge. People residing close to the forestland and Vana Samrakshana Samiti members have been asked to report unauthorised entry of trekkers into the interior forests.

The suspected misuse of fire to smoke out animals by tribespeople or others in their name will also be monitored.

Various farmers’ organisations are also keen on the implementation of preventive measures by the Forest department considering the huge loss caused by wild fire in the agriculture sector.

According to them, massive fire outbreaks taken place a few years ago in the upland areas of Vanimel and Karassery panchayats had destroyed several hectares of cultivated land. Only better surveillance would avert the recurrence of such incidents, they pointed out.

One of the main challenges, according to Fire and Rescue Services officials, is the limited resources available for fighting fire outbreaks in the upland forest areas. The delay in getting timely alerts and the difficulty in reaching hilly terrains with the firetenders make it a real challenge for local rescue teams, they said.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 1:47:49 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/forest-dept-takes-steps-to-prevent-wildfire/article38279710.ece