TN Reported 217 Forest Fires Since Feb 1; Kodaikanal, Vellore Top Chart

(MENAFN- IANS) Chennai, May 16 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu Forest Department will soon conduct a survey of forest land damaged due to forest fires this year.

Senior officials of the department told IANS that the details regarding the survey, its duration, manpower and other support systems to be used are yet to be finalised.

According to the officials, since February 1, 2024, 217 forest fires have been reported from the state's forest ranges alone.

However, the Forest Survey of India (FSI) report says that forests in South India are much less prone to forest fires. The FSI said that generally, forests in southern parts of India are less prone to fires as the vegetation type is largely evergreen or semi-evergreen.

Yet, high aridity, above-normal day temperatures since January 2024, and clear sky conditions during early summer seasons were some of the contributory factors for the sudden spike in forest fire incidents reported from Tamil Nadu.

Even though there has been a spike in the number of forest fire cases, the Forest Department officials said that 97 per cent of these fires were extinguished within 24 hours.

According to the department, the Kodaikanal forest region reported the maximum number of forest fires followed by the Vellore region.

The Forest Department has also conducted several community awareness programmes to prevent incidents of forest fire.

The department has also opened district and state-level forest fire control centres and is monitoring the possibilities of forest fire incidents using IT and GIS mapping to reduce their intensity.