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HP rolls out forest fire awareness drive

He said that during summers or in dry months when there is no rain, forests become littered with dry material including pine needles.

Statesman News Service | Shimla |

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur flagged off three Forest Fire Awareness vehicles from here on Wednesday under the Himachal Pradesh Forest Department’s fire preparedness programme for the 2021 season.

The chief minister said that these vehicles would travel on three different routes in the State in the coming eight days and sensitize the community and stakeholders about the effects of the forest fires through PA systems equipped in each vehicle.

He urged the people to extend all possible help to the Forest department in their efforts for combating the fire incidents.Thakur said that forest fire posed a threat not only to the forest wealth but also to the entire region including fauna and flora by disturbing the biodiversity, ecology and environment of the region.

He said that during summers or in dry months when there is no rain, forests become littered with dry material including pine needles.

He emphasized that there are indirect effects of forest fire in the form of loss of timber increment, loss of soil fertility, soil erosion, drying up of water sources and loss to biodiversity. Thakur said that the livelihoods of rural people are intricately linked to the forests ecosystem and long term health of the forest was more beneficial than the short term goal of fresh grass.

He said that fire season was approaching and participation of the community was important in fire combating efforts. He said in such a scenario the community is required to be aware about the ill-effects of forest fire and this type of awareness plays an important role to spread the message to the masses through street plays in local dialects and exhibitions.

He expressed hope that the steps taken by the Forest department would go a long way in preventing forest fire incidents.The chief minister also released a book and brochure on Forest Fire.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Dr Savita said that 45 stations will be covered by the publicity team on three different routes in eight days during the campaign. The vehicles are equipped with informative materials on various aspects of forest fire. Senior forest officers and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.