New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday spoke to Uttarakhand Governor K.K Paul over the issue of fires in forests on the state, and assured that Centre is providing all necessary assistance to control the fire.
"Spoke to Uttarakhand Governor Shri KK Paul regarding the incidents of forest fires in the state. NDRF teams have already been sent," Singh said in a tweet."The Centre is providing all necessary assistance to Uttarakhand state to control the forest fires and help in containing the damage," he added.
The National Disaster Response Force deployed three teams earlier today to control forest fires in Uttarakhand that have destroyed nearly 1900 hectares of forest land in 13 districts since February.
The NDRF teams are equipped with water tankers, floating pumps and medical setup to assist the rescue operation. The teams will be posted at Almora, Pauri and Gauchar in Chamoli districts.
Locals have been told to report a fire incident to the concerned district magistrate as soon as they spot it.
Pre-fire alerts listing possible fire points over the next seven days in forest areas are being made available on the forest department website.
Besides ravaging forests, the fire has killed four people, including two women, in Uttarkashi and a woman and her child in Nainital district. Two others were reportedly burnt in separate incidents in Nainital and Chamoli districts.
Authorities had to close National Highway 58 that connects Badrinath for hours on Thursday after the forest fire could not be controlled.
Paul has asked officials to scale up operations to control the fire.
He has ordered deployment of additional staff and allocation of Rs. 5 crore to meet out the immediate financial needs required to control the fires.
Deposed chief minister Harish Rawat has written to Paul urging him to declare Uttarakhand a `forest fire-ravaged` state.