Raging forest fires in Uttarakhand state have spread to 13 districts and have destroyed nearly 1900 hectares of forest land since February, and killed five people.Forest fires are natural during summer, but this time, they have occurred on a bigger scale. Dry weather, high temperatures, and windy conditions have caused the fires to spread.”The wildlife reserves across the state have also come under the fire. So far 198 hectares have been gutted in the Jim Corbett National Park, which is a part of the larger Corbett Tiger Reserve, 70 hectares in Rajaji Tiger Reserve and 60 hectares in Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary,” a Hindustan Times report said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Photo courtesy: Anup Sah/FacebookThe report also said that fires were also reported in tourist resorts of Bijrani, Sardpuli, Palen, Dhikala, Kalagarh, Maidavan, Jhirna and Sona Nadi of the reserves, but there have been no wildlife casualties so far.In an effort to douse the fire, the state administration has deployed three companies of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), which will comprise of 150 personnel. Inspector General of Police (IG) Garhwal, Sanjay Gunjyal told the Times of India, “SDRF teams were already stationed and now NDRF teams have been roped in to put out the flames. All will work together with forest and fire department to prevent the fire from spreading further.”Since early February, 922 cases of forest fire incidents in the state have occurred, killing five people, including three women and a child in separate incidents, and injuring seven, Principal Conservator of Forest (PCF) B P Gupta said.Photo courtesy: Anup Sah/FacebookPauri, Tehri and Nainital are the worst hit by these fires as they abound in Cheed and Sal trees which are highly inflammable.Locals have been told to report a fire incident to the district magistrate concerned as soon as they sight it, so that it can be controlled in time.Uttarakhand Governor KK Paul convened an important meeting of officials concerned and has doubled the number of personnel deployed from 3000 to 6000 to control the fire.(With Agency inputs)

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Uttarakhand forest fires spread to 13 districts; claims 5 lives