Shimla, June 5
On the date we are celebrating Environment day, many places are roasting like an oven in Himachal Pradesh, venting out extreme heatwave conditions, triggering a number of forest fires and rendering heavy loss to nature and property.
Una, along with Punjab- Himachal border, is sizzling at 44.4 degrees Celsius, which is 0.6 less than the highest temperature of May 17, 2022. Dhauakuna in Sirmaur 42 degrees, Hamirpur and Berthin 40, Kangra and Bilaspur 39.5, Nahan 38.8, Chamba 38.4, Solan & Dharmshala 37.4, Dalhousie 27, Kalpa (Kinnaur) 25, Kufri 22.7 and Keylong 21.7 degrees respectively.
According to fire and forest officials, currently, 16 places are under blazes where forest infernos are venting out clouds of smoke and heat waves in the cool clime of the state.
In the past two days, as many as 16 houses and forest fires have burnt around 71.50 hectares. Forest spokesperson said that till Saturday, forest wealth tune to Rs 4.98 lakh got gutted due to fire as ten fire incidents have occurred in Bilaspur. A fire broke out at Kamiyana Chedi in Shimla. Four fire incidents have been reported in Dharamsala, one in Kullu and one in Shimla.
The high land area of Shimla district, having a quality forest of Deodar and Oak, is also in a blaze. The report says that forest fires have been damaging 26-hectare new plantations and around 45-hectare grasslands, causing a shortage of cattle food.
There are as many as 1915 registered fire incidents in various places of the state. Most of them are forest fires which destroyed the wealth of more than Rs 4.17 crore in the state. During the fire season, about 15714.88 hectares of forest area were affected by various fires, including 3070 hectares of dense forests.
Indian Met office does not predict rain or snow for the next three days up to June 8, which is causing concern to the fire department.
Such fires are not merely gutting the forests, but it is harming the wildlife immensely, posing a threat to the environment. The atmosphere has also become hazy due to the smoke rising from the forests.