Doda, Jan 23: Prolonged dry spell in Jammu and Kashmir has triggered a series of forest fire incidents in Doda district of Jammu region.
The forest fire incidents have shown a significant surge in Doda, Bhalesa and Bhaderwah area.
Tariq Ahmed, an environmentalist, said that forests are one of the largest sources of biodiversity. “When hectares of a forest burns, apart from the dry grass, rare trees and herbs also get destroyed that may not regrow again,” he said. “Majority of the animals run away during the fire, many smaller animals, birds, their eggs and insects get killed.”
He said that forest fires contribute to 20 per cent carbon emission. “Forest fire contributes largely to the depletion of the ozone layer,” he said.
Tariq said that in absence of a wet spell there is a threat to flora and fauna in forest areas. Meanwhile, the forest department Bhaderwah has started awareness campaigns in various villages to teach people the steps they should take to prevent forest fires in their areas.
Range officer Chiralla, Bhaderwah, Shephar Iqbal said that forest fire is not a natural incident. “There are always human hands behind this incident. Creating awareness among the people is the only way to prevent forest fires. Special training needs to be imparted to people who go inside forests and carelessly throw cigarettes and other material that cause fire,” he said. “We have also created awareness in small villages located on the forest fringes as some people set afire grass to prevent its overgrowth which later turns into a big forest fire.”