Shimla: Forest fires raging across the hills of Himachal Pradesh scorched over 11,000 hectares of wooded areas and grasslands in the past two years, the state assembly was informed on Tuesday.
From January 1, 2013, to February 15 this year, 11,814.89 hectares have been devoured by flames, Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri said in a written reply.
He said the forest wealth destroyed in the fires was approximately worth Rs.201,96,883. But no case of death of wild animals has been reported due to forest fires.
A senior forest official told IANS that 22 percent or 8,267 sq km of the total forest area in the state is fire prone. A majority of the fires are reported from the pine forests as during summer the trees shed pine needles that are highly inflammable.
The pine forests are found up to an altitude of 5,500 feet.