Six-fold increase in forest fires as temperatures rise in many states

Six-fold increase in forest fires as temperatures rise in many states

By Ishan Kukreti | Last Updated: Friday 10 May 2019

The Forest Survey of India’s large forest fires monitoring programme data shows that there are 192 large, active fires in the country today

As many states face higher than normal maximum temperature, instances of large fires have increased more than six times across the country within this week.

The Forest Survey of India’s (FSI’s) large forest fires monitoring programme data shows that there are 192 large, active fires in the country today (May 10). This figure was at 30 when this week began.

Highest number of fires is being reported from Uttarakhand (91), Chhattisgarh (36), Madhya Pradesh (17) and Uttar Pradesh (11). The corresponding figures for the instances of large fires on May 6 for these states were 4, 7, 4 and 2 respectively.

According to the India Metrological Department (IMD) data, on May 9, maximum temperatures were 3.1 to 5 degree Celsius above normal at most places in Uttarakhand, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, east Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Marathwada and coastal Andhra Pradesh.

The highest maximum temperature was recorded at Banda (east Uttar Pradesh) at 46.2° C. Uttarakhand has seen a sudden spurt in large fire instances, as temperatures peaked along with a rain deficit.

“The main reason for the spike in these large fire incidences is increase in temperature and rain fall deficit. Temperatures across the state have risen by at least 4° C, and there has been no rain since last week. We have all the resources at work to control the fires and prevent the loss of flora and fauna across the state,” Uttarakhand chief conservator of forest (forest fire and disaster management) PK Singh told Down to Earth.

The total number of fire incidences in the state, including but not limited to the large fire instances recorded by FSI, stands at 473 on May 10 — affecting 644 hectares of forest area. So far, five people have been injured and five animals have died in the fire. The loss caused by the fires is estimated to be around Rs 10.53 crore.

Link: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/six-fold-increase-in-forest-fires-as-temperatures-rise-in-many-states-64475

Contract signed to lease helicopters to help fight forest fires

Contract signed to lease helicopters to help fight forest fires

By: ANNETTE CHRYSOSTOMOU | MAY 10TH, 2019

The forestry department has signed a contract with a private company for the lease of two helicopters to fight fires during the summer, the department announced on Friday.

The contract is valid for this and next year, with an option to renew it in 2021.

The amount to be paid per year is €1,599,250 excluding VAT, slightly less than last year.

According to the announcement, the forestry department will be responsible for the management of the contract while the fire services will have operational control.

A request to include the cost for the two leased helicopters in the newly created ‘rescEU transition’ is being prepared and will be submitted to the European Commission.

The Republic of Cyprus, under this mechanism, will receive financial support which may cover as much as 75 percent of the cost for the fire-fighting aircraft.

The European Commission’s proposal to strengthen the EU’s collective response to natural disasters, rescEU entered into force on March 21.

Numerous disasters have affected regions of Europe in recent years, causing hundreds of casualties and billions in damage to infrastructure.

To protect member states better, “the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the Commission reached an agreement last December to strengthen the existing EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The upgraded EU Civil Protection Mechanism establishes a new European reserve of capacities (the so-called rescEU reserve), including firefighting planes and helicopters, while boosting disaster prevention and preparedness measures,” the European Commission said.

To ensure that Europe is prepared for this year’s forest fire season the new legislation includes a transition phase during which participating states can get funding in exchange for putting their firefighting means at the disposal of the EU.

Link: https://cyprus-mail.com/2019/05/10/contract-signed-to-lease-helicopters-to-help-fight-forest-fires/

Firefighters rush to tackle 35-acre wildfire near Sugar Pine Reservoir: ‘We’ve got a north wind’

Firefighters rush to tackle 35-acre wildfire near Sugar Pine Reservoir: ‘We’ve got a north wind’

A small wildfire is underway at Sugar Pine Road and Big Reservoir Lane, about five miles northeast of Foresthill in Placer County, according to a Cal Fire tweet Friday afternoon.
Sugar Pine Road is currently closed, officials said, and visitors are being asked to avoid the area.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and Foresthill Fire Protection District are assisting U.S. Forest Service officials with the Sugar Fire, said Joe Flannery, a spokesman for the Tahoe National Forest.
By 5:30 p.m., the fire had burned 25 to 35 acres with more than 100 personnel responding, Flannery said.
The personnel included four hand crews, six engines, two helicopters, two water tenders, a bulldozer, Flannery said. Three air tankers that were performing fire retardant drops during the afternoon had been dismissed.
Crews will be doing fire containment through the night, Flannery said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The fire started at 12:38 p.m. Friday, said Mary Eldridge, a Cal Fire spokeswoman.
“We’ve got a north wind so every resource available is heading out there,” Eldridge said at about 3 p.m. Friday.
The fire is located two miles southeast of Sugar Pine Reservoir and the Forbes Creek campground and about 10 miles east of Colfax.
This is the first wildfire in the four-county Sacramento region this year. There have been several other small wildfires in Butte County.Link: https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/fires/article230280194.html