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Nainital Forest Fire: Army Called In To Douse Blaze, CM Dhami Asks Officials To Be 'Alert'

In the last 24 hours, 31 new incidents of forest fire were reported from various parts of the state, destroying 33.34 hectares of forest land.

PTI
Nainital Forest Fire: Army Called In To Douse Blaze Photo: PTI
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Forest fires in Uttarakhand became more severe on Friday with the flames reaching the High Court Colony in Nainital.

Three persons were arrested in Rudraprayag on Friday while trying to set fire to the forests.

In the last 24 hours, 31 new incidents of forest fire were reported from various parts of the state, destroying 33.34 hectares of forest land.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has asked the officials to remain on alert and take measures to prevent the fires by coordinating with all departments.

The fire that broke out in the forest near Nainital district headquarters took a horrific form, posing a threat to the residents of High Court Colony located in the Pines area. It also affected the traffic movement in the area.

Along with the forest department employees, army personnel are also trying to control the fire. Authorities may deploy helicopters to put it out.

Anil Joshi, a resident of the area and assistant registrar of the High Court said, "The fire has engulfed an old and vacant house located near The Pines. It has not caused any damage to High Court Colony but it has reached dangerously close to the buildings. Efforts are being made to control the fire since evening."

In view of the possibility of the fire reaching the sensitive areas of the Indian Army located near the Pines, efforts are being made to extinguish the fire as soon as possible.

The district administration has banned boating in Naini Lake in view of the blaze.

Nainital Divisional Forest Officer Chandrashekhar Joshi said, "We have deployed 40 Manora Range personnel and two forest rangers to extinguish the fire."

According to the daily bulletin issued by the Forest Department here, 26 incidents of forest fire occurred in the state's Kumaon region in the last 24 hours, while five incidents occurred in Garhwal region, where 33.34 hectares of forest area was affected.

From November 1 last year till now, a total of 575 incidents of forest fire have been reported in the state, affecting 689.89 hectares of forest area and costing the state than Rs 14 lakh.

Meanwhile, three men were arrested and sent to jail for allegedly starting forest fires in two different areas of Jakholi and Rudraprayag.

Rudraprayag's Divisional Forest Officer Abhimanyu in a press release said that the action was taken by a team formed to prevent forest fire.

Sheep herder Naresh Bhatt of Tadiyaal village of Jakholi was caught from the spot while setting a fire in the forest, he said.

During interrogation, Bhatt said he started the fire to grow new grass for grazing his sheep.

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