Deputy Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council, Jahangir Hussain Mir, on Wednesday stressed upon the officers of Forest and its allied departments to gear up their field functionaries to contain the threat of forest fires in the State.These instructions were given by the Deputy Chairman in a meeting convened to discuss various issues relating to fire incidents in the forests of Jammu province.Commissioner/Secretary, Forest Department, Mohammad Afzal and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, A K Singh briefed the meeting about the measures taken by the department in dealing with the fire incidents. They informed that the main cause of forest fires in the state particularly in Jammu region is human interference, un-intentional and natural.The meeting was further informed that the sub-tropical forests of Jammu region are highly vulnerable to forest fires and the most vulnerable season is from March to June.
The Deputy Chairman stressed on the concerned authorities to take all necessary steps to control the fire incidents so that state’s green wealth could be saved. In this regard, he directed for intensifying awareness camps in the vulnerable areas so that the people can play their role in checking possible fire incidents.It was informed in the meeting that during the summer season, so far 562 incidents of forest fires have occurred in different parts affecting 1260 hectare area in the sub-tropical forests of Jammu region. Besides, several such mishaps took place in various Forest areas including Chenab Valley, Poonch and Rajouri Districts during autumn season this year.The Deputy Chairman stressed upon the concerned authorities of Forest Department to start massive plantation drives of Devdar trees in forest areas of Chenab valley and Botanical Garden.Among others Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wild life) Suresh Chugh, Special Secretary, Forest Vasu Yadav besides concerned senior officers of the department and council secretariat were also present in the meeting.