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Dalma survey to assess fire damage - Forest department team to begin exercise in second week of July

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By ANKUSH SINGH in Jamshedpur
  • Published 27.05.09
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Jamshedpur, May 27: The state forest department has decided to conduct a survey at Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary to assess the damages caused by fires.

Senior officials of the department said that the survey was expected to start in the second week of July. This summer, the sanctuary had witnessed recurring fires, one of which engulfed swathes of forestland.

“The assessment of affected areas will be done once the monsoon sets in. The onset of the season reduces chances of forest fires,” said Dalma ranger Sushil Oraon.

Around 5-10 hectares of forestland was destroyed in a major fire that broke out in the Dalma wildlife range in February this year. Officials also conceded that several small fires had occurred in the sanctuary area, but were tamed.

“The first fire in the Dalma range broke out due to carelessness of devotees, who trek to a Dalma temple during Shivratri. Other fires resulted either due to negligence of people residing in and around the gamepark or during mahua collection process,” said a senior forest official. He added that the villagers lit small fires to collect mahua fruits, but most of the time the blaze went out of control.

This year, the forest department had created around 250km of fire lines to prevent incidents. The forest in this region mainly witnesses ground fire because of dry leaves. According to officials, Dalma saw more incidents of fire this year due to a dry spell. The region had not witnessed showers from October 2008 to April this year.

“It was only last fortnight that we received rainfall. The climate change has resulted in moisture in the atmosphere. So, there will not be no natural fire in Dalma for the next few months,” said a forest official.