J&K Forest Department conducts Training on “Forest Fire Prevention and Management”

Jammu : J&K Forest Department today conducted one day pre-fire season training workshop involving 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 the 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 aimed at coordination at the level of deployment, communication between various stakeholders and PRI institutions for capacity building, use of 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.

The training workshop was inaugurated by Dr. Mohit Gera, PCCF & HoFF, J&K in presence of Sh. Suresh Kumar Gupta, PCCF/ Chief Wildlife Warden J&K, Sarvesh Rai, PCCF/ CEO CAMPA J&K, B.M Sharma, Addl. PCCF Jammu and attended by B. Mohandaas, Conservator of Forests, East Circle Jammu, Vivek Verma, Conservator of Forests, West Circle, Rajouri, Anup Kumar Soni, DFO Jammu, Sunil Singh, DFO Urban Forestry Division Jammu, Vinay Khajuria, ACF, SMVDSB, Katra, Shoba Rani, Sarpanch Aitham, Sham Kumar, Naib Sarpanch Aithum, Thoru Ram, Sarpanch Panchgrain, Rajinder Singh, Sarpanch Nadoore, Master Trainers of J&K Fire & Emergency Department and State Disaster Management Force.

During the Inaugural address, Dr Mohit Gera emphasized on the forest fires scenario at National level as well as in Jammu & Kashmir and expressed serious concern on increasing incidences of forest fires due to rising temperatures and dry conditions.

He informed that the forest department has established around 246 fire control rooms across UT of J&K and involve PRIs & local people in prevention and control of forest fires. In order to enhance the real time monitoring of fire incidents, Photo Interpretation Division Jammu is being equipped with a real time Fire monitoring and dissemination cell.

Integration of role of Fire & Emergency Services and SDRF in forest fire management is pivotal to successful forest fire control operations and all the coordinating agencies are continuously engaged in averting major fire outbreaks.

He also informed on the recent initiatives of the forest department in sustainable utilization of Chir Pine needles in making handicrafts by women SHGs and Biomass to Energy in rural areas has been gaining momentum under the new NTFP policy which is helping prevention of fires and creation of livelihood.

Further, 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.

Sarvesh Rai, PCCF/ CEO CAMPA, J&K has emphasized the inclusive and holistic approach to Forest Fire Prevention and Mitigation measures which includes Greening measure, soil & water conservation measures, fire prevention measures by way of consultation and coordination with PRIs.

He also discussed the financial support of CAMPA in 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 frontline staff of 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.

Fire & Emergency Department and SDRF has been involved in the mock drill session to ensure cross sectoral coordination at the field level. Success stories in respect of Fire Prevention and control operations in respect of Udhampur and Nowshera Forest Division were discussed where schemes under J&K CAMPA were implemented under the theme bio- mass to energy initiatives and coordination with other agencies in successful control of major Forest fires.

Thoru Ram, Sarpanch Panjgrain has emphasized the role of panchayats, Biodiversity Management Committee, Joint Forest Management Committee in conservation of forest resources against any resource degradation practices and stated that villagers should adopt forest-based livelihood initiatives of forest department.

He praised the department for creation of water harvesting/ storage structures in kandi areas. 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. The session was attended by 80 No. of frontline staff of Territorial, Wildlife, Forest Protection Force and Social Forestry Departments, besides, 15 members of PRIs. During the mock drill special demonstration was conducted on the operation of Drone for Forest Fire Monitoring and Damage Assessment.



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