Kashmir Region Faces Forest Fires Amid Dry Spell

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SRINAGAR: The prolonged dry spell this year has sparked off fires in multiple forest areas across the Valley while the government has claimed to have initiated action and activated the forest personnel in this regard.

The forest fire has broke out in Karanu area of Karnah, Devpora in South Kashmir’s Shopian, Wurandore in Manzgam area of Kulgam, Kangan in Ganderbal, Salamabad in Uri, Sumlar in north Kashmir’s Bandipora, Nagawadi in Tral, Rampora Rajpora in Sopore, Kuntwara Range in Doda among other places.

The fire incidents in these places have been reported in the past three days.

Director Meteorological department, Dr Mukhtar Ahmad Khan said that the bushfire is the outcome of the persistent dry spell in Kashmir. “Such incidents have been witnessed in the past as well,” he said.

According to an Independent Weather Forecaster, Faizan Arif Keng, the current surge in forest fires can be attributed to the absence of active Western Disturbances. “The continuous dry spell spanning over a month has significantly reduced moisture levels in the vegetation and other areas, rendering the forests highly susceptible to ignition,” he said.

The crucial role of Western Disturbances in bringing moisture to the region has been absent, exacerbating the dry conditions, he said.

Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar Bidhuri, said that the reports of fire have been received from three places and the further necessary action was initiated in this regard.

“The persistent dry spell has led to the forest fire. We have already activated the forest personnel to deal with such incidents. We have received the reports from three places and immediate steps were taken,” he said.

Pertinently, December 2023 unfolded as the most arid month of the year for the union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, recording a rainfall deficit of 79% and 100%, respectively.

JK registered a mere 12.6 mm of rainfall, significantly below the average of 59.4 mm, while there was a complete absence of rainfall in Ladakh—(KNO)

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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