Jammu & Kashmir

Rajouri forest fires surge, JKDMA predicts extreme risk amid rising temp

Forest Fire. [File Photo]

Rajouri: Forest fires in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri forest division have increased this summer compared to last year, an official reports. Significant damage occurred due to a forest fire in Bathuni village, reports said.

Firefighters conducted an operation to extinguish the flames, which broke out late in the evening and spread rapidly.

Balwant Singh, Assistant Director of the Forest Protection Force in Rajouri, stated that there have been eight forest fire incidents reported so far.

“The number of forest fire incidents this year is higher than the same period last year. The peak of the summer season is contributing to these fires. So far, we have had eight incidents,” Singh told ANI.

He added that fire control rooms have been set up at various locations to ensure quick response.

“Our staff reach the sites promptly. We have established fire control rooms to ensure accessibility, and we are on alert and actively taking action to protect the forest areas,” he said.

Singh explained that fewer fires in the preceding year lead to more fires the following year due to the buildup of pine needles, which are highly flammable.

Amid rising temperatures, the Jammu and Kashmir Disaster Management Authority (JKDMA) has predicted an ‘extreme forest fire’ risk in the next seven days across the Himalayan region. The JKDMA urges people to report fires immediately by calling 112 for a prompt response.

On May 23, the JKDMA warned of an ‘extreme forest fire’ risk, and the IMD forecasted temperatures reaching 41 degrees Celsius in Jammu and 19.7 degrees Celsius in Srinagar.

The Meteorological Department also indicated that the heat wave in the plains of Jammu and Kashmir is expected to continue until May 31.

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