Hyderabad: Though Telangana is under complete lockdown, the forest department officials have been on duty, working hard putting out forest fires in the state. Satellite images reveal that there have been forest fires along the Telangana and Chattisgarh border for the past three days.

While people are staying indoors to prevent the spread of Corona virus in the state, the Telangana forest department officials have been working to protect the state’s forests from major fires. Images acquired from the Copernicus satellite show that forest areas near Pamunuru and Mulkanpally have been burning for the past three days.

Speaking to NewsMeter, district forest officer M. Joji said, “Forest fires are common at this time. As of now, we have only spotted ground fires so there has been no damage to trees or wildlife. The fire breakouts were very limited and were doused within hours.”

While talking about the safety of firefighters working to douse the fire, he said, “In the forests, we don’t have to face such problems like the spread of Corona virus. Our major worry is the fire.” He said there are tribal settlements in the Pamunuru and Mulkanpally forest areas. “The tribal people usually travel on foot and encounter several wild animals. They light a fire to scare them away. The fire is not completely doused off when they leave the area leading to forest fires. So, 100 per cent of the forest fires in these areas are manmade,” he said.

A forest fire had started in January this year in Telangana’s Nallamala forest. In February two forest fires broke out in Nallamal damaging 64 acres of the forest. Mr Joji said all these fires were also manmade.

Mohan Pargeni, an IFS officer, appreciated the work of fire officials working to protect the forests.

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