Dehradun: In the latest development in Uttarakhand forest fires incident, the satellite imageries of the state have reported on Sunday that the forest fire has gone out in over 70 percent of the affected areas here.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) also confirmed that of the 427 locations, fire in 70 percent of the areas were out.
The development comes hours after the Army, Air Force, 3 teams of NDRF and 6,000 firefighters worked round the clock to save the forest covers.
"It is expected that these figures (110-115 locations) will be brought down to 50-60 in the next few days by the combined forces fighting to douse the jungle fire," PTI quoted NDRF Director General OP Singh as saying.
A squad of over 135 personnel of the special force of NDRF are deployed in Uttarakhand as part of multiple firefighting teams to combat the raging fire in the jungles of Uttarakhand that have destroyed about 3,000 hectares of jungles in several districts and claimed at least seven lives till now.
The teams have spread out in 13 affected areas of three districts of Pauri Garhwal, Almora and Chamoli with fire fighting equipment to tackle the massive blaze.
Meanwhile, the Union Home Ministry sent a four-member expert team to Uttarakhand to look into the forest fires in the state and submit its report within a week after taking stock of the situation.
The team comprises Santosh Kumar, executive director of the National Institute of Disaster Management; SP Vashist, deputy inspector general of forests under the ministry of environment and forests; KC Wadhwa, special director at the Centre for Fire Explosives and Environment Safety; and GC Mishra, director of Fire Services, Delhi.
"The team will submit its report to the home ministry within one week after taking stock of situation," a ministry statement said.
Assuring that the situation was under control, the statement said: "About 6,000 people from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), state police, forest staff and volunteers are deployed there.
"Three Air Force helicopters including an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and two MI-17 helicopters with Bambi bucket have also been deployed to assist the local administration," the statement said.
It said Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Uttarakhand Governor KK Paul regarding incidents of forest fires that began 88 days ago and have so far destroyed nearly 3,000 acres of forest cover.
"The Centre is providing all necessary assistance to Uttarakhand to control the forest fires and help in containing the damage," the statement said.
"The government is taking the forest fires of Uttarakhand very seriously. We have granted Rs 5 crore to the state yesterday," said Union minister Prakash Javadekar.
The fires in Uttarakhand have been burning for nearly 3 months, destroying close to 3,000 acres of forest cover so far. In the last one month alone, around 1,200 fires have broken out in the state.
In the neighbouring states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, satellite pictures had captured images of active fires. Till Saturday, over 1,300 fires were raging across the hilly regions of north India.
The government is soon going to start a satellite picture-based fire alarm system that will send out text messages to the authorities every time a fresh fire is detected.
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 1, 2016