Rain spell brings relief to blazing forest fires in U'Khand

Rain spell brings relief to blazing forest fires in U'Khand

Rain spell brings relief to blazing forest fires in U'Khand

A much awaited spell of rains lashed most parts of Uttarakhand overnight supplementing ongoing fire dousing operations across the state in a big way even as the toll in the blazing forest fires rose to seven with a fire watcher's death.

Light to moderate rains hit the higher reaches of the mountains in the evening yesterday and swept the plains overnight with Munsyari in the hills receiving 11 mm of rains and Dehradun in the plains recording 7 mm of showers, Director MeT department Vikram Singh told PTI.

The exact data of rain at other places is yet to be compiled but almost all the districts in the hills as well as in the plains have received rains in varying degrees, he said.

"It is going to supplement the firefighting operations underway in a major way as it will settle the plumes of smoke rising from flaming forests which had reduced visibility besides moisturising the woods which is likely to bring down the number of fresh fire incidents," the MeT director said.

According to latest data released by Principal Conservator of forest BP Gupta, 3465.94 hectares of forest land lies ravaged by forest fires.

The toll has also risen to seven with a fire watcher's death last night due to suffocation from smoke rising from forests in Matiyali range of Pauri district, officials said.

Two women had died in Uttarkashi on February 2 when forest fires started in Uttarakhand followed by the death of a woman labourer from Jharkhand and her child near Golagate in Nainital district late last month as forest fire engulfed her slum.

A constable was killed in Chamoli district while trying to douse the flames on the evening of May 2 after being hit by a boulder falling from a hillside.