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30/05/24 | 1:21 pm

Forest officers use drones to extinguish fires in Jammu and Kashmir

A severe dry spell and soaring temperatures have sparked a series of forest fires in the Chingus block and various other forest areas in the Nowshera sub-division of Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Drones were used on Thursday to monitor forest fires. As per the forest officials, the fire in the Reasi area was extinguished within hours.

The officials said that they can easily estimate the exact position and movement of the fire using drones in the hilly terrain, speeding up the extinguishing process.

The fires, which began yesterday, have disrupted normal life, enveloping the region in thick smoke and causing widespread distress among the local population. The resulting smoke has severely polluted the air, reducing visibility and posing health risks to residents and travelers alike.

Local residents, including those living near the forest, as well as small market vendors, hotel owners, shopkeepers, and dhaba operators, are grappling with the adverse effects of the fires and the accompanying smoke.

Mohd. Mustafa Charrakk, the Block Officer of the Chingus Forest Department, highlighted the efforts undertaken by the forest department in controlling the blaze.

“My team has successfully controlled the fire. The area is steep, so immediate control was necessary. We conduct patrols at night to monitor forest fires. It’s a challenging task to manage these fires, especially as temperatures rise, leading to fires in nearby forests”, he said

“Whenever we receive information about a fire, we rush to the location and work to bring it under control. We also conduct nighttime patrols to detect any signs of fire.”

Charrak also appealed to locals to assist by promptly reporting any fire incidents to the authorities and cooperating in fire control efforts.

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