Nagaland Witnessed 770 Fire Incidents In Last 5 Years - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland witnessed 770 fire incidents in last 5 years

6096
By Temshinaro Updated: Mar 21, 2024 11:50 pm

DIMAPUR — With the onset of the windy season, a tiny spark can snowball into a major inferno, whether it is forest fire or fire caused due to electrical short circuit, LPG leakage, etc., leading to loss of lives and property.

The most recent fire incident reported in the state is the March 19 Kitsubozou fire incident in Kohima, reportedly caused by LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) leakage, which caused a significant damage to several buildings and vehicles though there was no report of any loss of lives.

A comparative data provided by the Nagaland Fire and Emergency Services on fire incidents across Nagaland from 2019 till 2023, revealed that as many as 770 fire incidents, five deaths and loss of property worth crores of rupees were reported during 2019-2023. 

The year 2023 witnessed the most fire incidents with 217 cases, while 2022 reported the least with 103 incidents.

As per the data, 2023 registered 86 forest fire, 85 major, four medium and 40 minor fire incidents, while property worth INR 15,70,26,552 was lost.

Categorised into major, medium, minor and forest fire, the report showed that as many as 326 major and 196 medium and minor fire incidents were reported during the last five years. As many as 248 forest fires were report during the same period.

Majority of the fire accidents in residential buildings were attributed to faulty electrical outlets and appliances and short circuits.

Abnormal trend

When inquired about the department’s observation on fire reports, the fire prevention and audit officer informed Eastern Mirror that as per the data for the last five years, the number of fire incidents and loss of life in the state showed an abnormal trend.

He said fire accidents in residential areas form a major part of such accidents.

“Human error as a result of carelessness while handling electrical equipment, use of low graded electrical goods, unattended cooking, drying of meats above fire place, etc., are also observed to be attributors to fire accidents,” the report read. 

Another major concern is forest and jungle fires with as many as 248 incidents reported during the last five years, accounting for about 32% of the total fire incidents.

“Preventing fire outbreak is the most important fire safety measure. Educating community/public, employees and co-workers on different preventive and safety measures of fire outbreaks is an inevitable approach to minimising the risks of fire outbreaks,” the report stated.

Attributing forest fire occurrences to human ignorance and lack of responsibility, the report stated that the government had enforced ban on burning of forest but forest fires are on the rise.

The officer also maintained that though fire plays a healthy role in the forest ecosystem and adds to its vitality, infernos that rage out of control have many devastating effects on the natural ecosystem.

Property lost and saved

During the last five years, because of the department’s interventions, property saved was more compared to property lost in fires, said the report, adding that property worth INR 1,07,26,53,947 was lost while property worth INR 1,30,61,25,620 was saved.

Nagaland being a hilly state with most of the villagers engaged in jhum cultivation, uncontrollable forest fires are a common issue that the villagers encounter.

Sedevizo Hibo, the OC of Kohima South Fire Service, informed this newspaper that forest fires are doused either by water or by making barriers, depending on the direction of the wind.

He said that with support from villagers, forest fires are prevented from reaching the village locality.

Informing that forest fire incidents are mostly “unintentional,” he highlighted that it occurs mostly during the months of March and April when the villagers clear jungles for jhum cultivation.

He said fires at Dzükou Valley are mostly out of carelessness from trekkers and visitors. Though no fire incidents have been reported in the valley for some time, the state government and the department is working towards spreading awareness and preventive measures, he added.

Measures to prevent fire

• Install fire protection and prevention systems.

• Good housekeeping

• Usage of certified and standard electrical appliances viz wires, plugs, fuse, switches, sockets, etc.

• Avoid overloading of circuits. Breaker’s trip and fuses blow when overloaded.

• Avoid activities that involve fire or sparks when it’s hot, dry and windy.

• Refrain from burning of jungles in order to prevent disruption of the ecological balance.

(Source: Fire and Emergency Services Nagaland)

6096
By Temshinaro Updated: Mar 21, 2024 11:50:55 pm
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