National, state level data on forest fire needed: Experts

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New Delhi, Nov 14 (UNI) The two-day national workshop on Forest Fires today ended with recommending creation of a national level as well as state level data base on forest blazes.

This data should be freely accessible based on information generated from both field level fire monitoring and reporting, and satellite-based fire monitoring, the experts partcipating in the workshop said.

There is need to raise awareness and sensitise various constituencies to the roles and impacts of fire, both detrimental, as in case of unplanned, uncontrolled burns, and beneficial, as in the case of burns managed to facilitate the collection of certain forest products, among others.

The experts suggested preparation of vulnerability mappings, public-panchayat partnership and capacity building at state level.

They also felt that control on forest fire was a must in view of the increasing global warming that was causing climate change.

The workshop also agreed on involvement of local communities and civil society in fire prevention, detection and management.

Existing methods of fire prevention, as practiced by the Forest Department, which include cutting and maintenance of fire lines as well as controlled burning be strengthened, and timely and adequate resources being made available for this, said the recommendations.

It was also recommended that in conjunction with field level fire monitoring and reporting, and on the ground verification of satellite information provided by Forest Survey of India (FSI) and National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), a system of fire management, should be operationalised in the states using standard methods and involving all possible stakeholders.

There is also need for in depth research on the ecological consequences of fire in different bio-geographic zones and eco-system types and in depth research and monitoring of socio-economic drivers of wild land fire, said the experts.

The workshop has also recommended for observing Forest Fire Week and it was informed that Ministry of Environment and Forests was also in the process of preparing a mascot for this.

UNI

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