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HP: wildlife warrior dies of burns days after fighting forest fire

Kumar, along with his colleagues, had almost doused the fire in a forest on 20 May when a sudden storm flared the forest fire engulfing him. He was rushed to Regional Hospital Una with serious burn injuries for medical treatment where doctors diagnosed that he had suffered above 90 percent burn injuries.

SNS | Shimla |

Rajesh Kumar, 49, a forest guard with Himachal Pradesh Forest Department, on Monday night, died of burn injuries he had received while dousing a forest fire in Saili area of Bangana sub-division of Una district. He had suffered above 90 percent burn in the incident.

Kumar, along with his colleagues, had almost doused the fire in a forest on 20 May when a sudden storm flared the forest fire engulfing him. He was rushed to Regional Hospital Una with serious burn injuries for medical treatment where doctors diagnosed that he had suffered above 90 percent burn injuries. The doctors advised the officials and his kin to take him to PGI for better care and treatment where he breathed his last late on Monday night.

A resident of Badoli in Una, Rajesh Kumar was promoted to the rank of forest guard in January this year. He was earlier working as a dispatcher with the Forest Department.

Kumar was a wildlife lover and had saved the lives of many wild animals in the current forest fire season and in the past too. He is survived by his wife and two kids.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has condoled the sad demise of forest guard Rajesh Kumar. He prayed for the departed soul to rest in peace and the bereaved family for the strength to bear the irreparable loss.

The Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri too condoled the demise of the honest forest department employee and said he had sacrificed his life to save the state’s valuable natural wealth.