For the first time since March 4, Goa’s forests free of fires | Goa News – Times of India


PANAJI: For the first time since March 4, personnel of the Goa forest department and directorate of fire and emergency services did not have to start the day by fighting fires in Goa’s protected areas. The last of the three fires had been doused on Tuesday. Chief minister Pramod Sawant and forest minister Vishwajit Rane said on Wednesday that the latest report on the forest fires have been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office.
It is a great respite since no new reports of fires have been received since Tuesday, said the forest minister. Nonetheless, the locations of the extinguished fires are being closely watched to look for any recurrence, and a close eye is being kept on places like Derodem and Surla within the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, which could experience recurrence, said Rane.
“At Cotigao and Netravali, increased humidity and sparse showers have provided some relief. For a close vigil, more than 350 people have been deployed,” he said.
In order to get Goa included in the National Forest Fire Prevention and Management Plan, I will soon have a meeting with central government officials in Delhi, he said.
“By doing this, we can enlist more agencies to help us manage circumstances where a significant amount of infrastructure is required… I want to thank the locals for their efforts, as well as the forest department team for fighting the fire 24×7 for so many days… the defense ministry has also given us its full backing, and they will provide us with aerial support as needed,” said Rane.
Navy and Air Force helicopters were deployed to douse the fires by dumping water on the affected forest areas that were inaccessible from the ground.
Rane said that he is in constant touch with the PMO, defence ministry, and Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav to provide updates on the Goa forest fire situation.
“I am appreciative of their assistance during these difficult times. I forwarded the most recent report to them,” said Rane.
“The entire team led by principal chief conservator of forests Rajiv Gupta & chief conservator of forests Saurabh Kumar did an outstanding job, & I also want to thank North Goa and South Goa collectors, as well as fire services, for their assistance. We were able to accomplish this with the guidance of the CM, @DrPramodPSawant’s leadership. I would like to express my gratitude to the Prime Minister, Shri @narendramodi Ji, the Minister of @moefcc Shri @byadavbjp Ji, and @rajnathsingh Ji, on behalf of the people of the state of Goa, for all of their support,” Rane tweeted on Wednesday.

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