Uttarakhand CM Rawat orders steps on war footing to stop forest fires

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Dehradun, Mar 25 (PTI) Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat on Thursday asked Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Rajiv Bhartari to take steps on a war footing to stop forest fires in the state.

A robust mechanism should be developed and adequate arrangements made to deal with forest fires, Rawat said.

He asked Bhartari to use helicopters, if necessary, to douse wildfires in remote hilly areas which are hard to access.

Forest fire management should be reviewed regularly and availability of all necessary equipment ensured up to the field level, an official statement quoting the chief minister said here.

Firelines should be monitored with the help of drones, Rawat said.

The chief minister said awareness about forest fires should be developed among people, and help should be taken from locals to stop these fires.

'Forests can be saved only with active help from locals,' Rawat added.

In Uttarakhand, forest fires usually start from February and continue for four months, but the state witnessed wildfires even during the winter this time. PTI ALM IJT IJT