Hyderabad: The Telangana Forest Department on Monday issued instructions on prevention of forest fires in the State, particularly in the light of the loss of nine lives in a massive fire in Theni forest of Tamil Nadu on Sunday.
The State Forest Department said it will not allow any unauthorised persons to enter the forest areas, especially in areas that are prone to fires. It also instructed its field staff to immediately intensify patrolling of all entry and exit points of forests. No person will be allowed to carry matchboxes, beedis, cigarettes, lighters or other devices that can light a fire into the forest. The department will also counsel beedi leaf khalledars and contractors and their agents along with shepherds, cattle owners and minor forest produce collectors.
It added that it will ensure new firelines are created in all fire prone areas in addition to existing firelines. In a significant move, it said it will procure additional blowers based on local needs to beat back any fires that may spring up in the State’s forests.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Raghuveer said in a statement that the department will involve all stakeholders including government employees, Green Brigade members and Haritha Rakshana Samithies in its efforts to prevent forest fires.