New Delhi, May 1: NDRF has deployed over 130 personnel as part of multiple fire fighting teams to combat the raging forest fire in the jungles of Uttarakhand that have destroyed about 2,269 hectares of jungles in several districts and claimed at least seven lives till now.
The teams of the specialised National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have fanned out in 13 affected areas of three districts of Pauri Garhwal, Almora and Chamoli to tackle the massive blaze.
"Our teams are working in 13 sectors in coordination with the officials and personnel of the state fire and forest department.
"The teams have been instructed to adopt the conventional method of cutting the fire line and containing the fire.
"We are using fire beaters and green bushes to cut the fire from spreading. About 135 personnel as part of multiple teams are working in Uttarakhand at present," NDRF Director General O P Singh told PTI.
He said while in Chamoli the NDRF is working in Pakhi and Gopeshwar areas, in Almora the teams are working in areas like Binsar, Someshwar, Bikisen, Siplakhet and Dhauladevi. Each team is covering an area of 8-10 sq km, the DG said, adding additional NDRF teams have been kept in standby near here in Ghaziabad.
The force also saved a house in which a family of four lived from the blaze in the hilly area of Mehlchori in Pauri district. Singh said he is in constant touch with his team leaders working in the state.
Earlier today, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh held discussions with the Chief Secretary and other officials of the state government on the situation arising due to the forest fire and offered all assistance from the Centre.
The Home Minister had yesterday spoken to Governor K K Paul, who briefed him about the situation in the hill state.
Mi-17 choppers of the IAF have also been sprinkling water in Nainital to control the forest fire.
Seven persons have been killed so far. Pauri, Nainital, Rudraprayag and Tehri are among the worst-hit districts.