Human Negligence Blamed for Wildfires Destroying Pune’s Forests

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Pune, 4th March 2023: Wildfires have become a major concern for the forests surrounding Pune, with about 73 cases reported in the last year alone, resulting in the destruction of 340 hectares of forest land. While wildfires are often caused by natural factors such as lightning, the majority of these incidents have been found to be caused by human negligence, with cigarette smoking, lighting bonfires, and intentional arson being cited as some of the main reasons.

The fires have not only resulted in the loss of precious flora and fauna but also pose a serious threat to human life and property in the surrounding areas. To address this issue, the Pune Forest Department has taken several measures, including the formation of a WhatsApp group comprising conscious citizens who frequent the hills and the organization of a “Fire Conference” last year, which included environmentalists, hill lovers groups, representatives of NGOs, and citizens who walk daily on the hills.

The Forest Department has also conducted a workshop on firefighting techniques for its employees to ensure prompt action when necessary. Additionally, social media platforms have also been leveraged to create awareness and encourage citizens to report any fires they witness in the hills.

Rahul Patil, the Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) in Pune, emphasized the importance of preventing these incidents, stating that the wildfires not only result in loss of life and property but also adversely impact the ecosystem of the region. The destruction of flora and fauna, including plants, animals, birds, and insects, can lead to irreversible damage to the environment and the loss of biodiversity in the region.

The Forest Department is calling for increased vigilance and cooperation from citizens to help prevent these incidents and protect the hills surrounding Pune.


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