Jammu, March 05: Principal Cheif Conservator of Forests & Head of Forest Force J&K Dr. Mohit Gera on Sunday expressed serious concern on growing incidences of forest fires at the national level as well as in Jammu & Kashmir due to rising temperatures and dry conditions.
After inaugurating a one-day pre-fire season training workshop organized by J&K Forest Department, Dr.Mohit in his address informed the department has established around 246 fire control rooms across the Union Territory and called for involving PRIs and local people in the prevention and control of forest fires.
He said that in order to improve the response time to any fire incidents, steps were already taken to improve the mobilization of field staff and equip them with locally fabricated equipment.
The workshop involved frontline forest staff, Panchayat Raj Institutions, SDRF, J&K Fire Emergency Services and allied departments to enhance the coordinated action at the field level during Forest Fire Emergencies under the theme “Coordination and Community Participation in Forest Fire Prevention and Management” in J&K at Forest Resource Management Centre, Jammu.
The workshop stressed coordination at the level of deployment and communication between various stakeholders and PRI institutions for capacity building, use of the latest technologies and building information networks to improve the fire prevention and mitigation operations during the ensuing summer. Field-specific mock drills were conducted in order to ensure fire evacuation and safety during fire mitigation operations involving Forest Field staff, SDRF 2nd Battalion Jammu and J&K Fire & Emergency Services.
Sarvesh Rai, PCCF/ CEO CAMPA, J&K has emphasized the inclusive and holistic approach to forest fire prevention and mitigation measures which includes greening measures, soil & water conservation measures, and fire prevention measures by way of consultation and coordination with PRIs. He discussed the financial support of CAMPA in the prevention and control of forest fires.
B.M. Sharma, APPCF Jammu stated during the address that the workshop aims to impart fundamental and technical aspects of forest fire management to the frontline staff of the Territorial, Wildlife, Forest Protection Force and Social Forestry Department and also involves representatives of PRI in order to achieve coordinated outcome during a fire emergency.
Success stories in respect of Fire Prevention and control operations in respect of Udhampur and Nowshera Forest Division were discussed.
In the technical session, mock drills were conducted regarding the use of Forest Fire Equipment and Standard Operating Procedures to be followed during a fire emergency. Demonstrations regarding first aid, rescue and evacuation operations were conducted by the Fire & Emergency and SDRF- 2nd Battalion Jammu.