Fresh forest fires in Uttarakhand

Dehradun:Soaring temperatures in Uttarakhand reignited forest fires in the hill state on Wednesday, with nearly 180 hectares of green cover gutted in the fresh fire incidents in Uttarkashi district.

Currently 180 hectares of forest land spread over 111 places in the district are in flames, Uttarkashi District Magistrate Shridhar Babu Addanki said.

"Rangers and Divisional Forest Officers have been asked to rush to the spots where fires are active and extinguish the flames as soon as possible," he said.

DFO Barkot D K Singh and DFO Purola Sandeep Kumar said there is no dearth of funds and equipment and they expect to control the blazes soon.

Uttarakhand is reeling under heat wave conditions for over a week now with most places recording temperatures which are four to five degrees above normal for this time of the year, MeT director Vikram Singh told PTI.

That may be one of the factors behind the fresh forest fires in parts of the state, he said advising caution. Forest fires this season, which began in February have so far destroyed nearly 4048 hectares of land in Uttarakhand in 1857 incidents.

The rising trend in temperature is likely to continue for a few days more with the temperature of Dehradun which recorded a maximum of 40.2 degrees Celsius yesterday likely to hover around 41 degrees today, he said, adding there is no respite from heat likely over the next 48 hours.

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