Wildfires in the forests of Hazaribagh, Jamshedpur, Palamu, Bokaro and a few other areas adding up to almost 23,605 sq km forest area of the state, often take a devastating form giving sleepless nights to the foresters.
At eight places in the state forest fire was reported on last Wednesday itself. According to reports available with the forest department, wildfire was reported at one spot in Hazaribagh, Palamu respectively and at six places in West Singhbhum district
which has several small hilly forests. Cases of major wildfires have been reported from 268 places in the state in April, this year.
A report available at the website of the Forest Survey of India says Jharkhand has reported forest fire at a total of 467 spots across various districts in the state. West Singhbhum district tops the list of districts affected by forest fires in terms
of the number of such incidents and their magnitude.
A budget of Rs 3 crore has been sanctioned for dousing flames. The department has roped in hundreds of villagers across the state to deal with it. In almost all districts which frequently report forest fires, the Village Forest Management & Protection
Committee (VFMPC) and in some districts Eco Development Committees are working. The department has hired fire watchers (villagers who are kept on daily wages) who work as informers for the department and join the officials in extinguishing fire.