The Kangpokpi Forest Division conducted a one-day training on “Capacity building on firefighting methods for frontline staffs, village committees, NGOs, CSOs and students” at Motbung Forest Complex on Friday, which was conducted under Forest Fire Prevention and Management Scheme.
The capacity building programme was organised keeping in mind the peak Forest Fire season.
It was observed that most forest fires and other fire related incidents occur during dry season with maximum fire related incidents occurring during peak dry season i.e January to March. Most fire incidents occur due to human actions and if people know about how to be fire safe, the chances of fire breaking out reduces. Even if fire does break, our knowledge about fire handling decreases chances of people getting hurt or losing life.
Kangpokpi forest division, DFO, N Ganesh spoke about the three elements for fire to occur, namely, heat, fuel and oxygen. He also talked about carbon sequestration by nature and how forest fire brings back the carbon into the environment. He also emphasised on the need to spread awareness about identifying fire hazards and importance of household safety practices and teaching the public about fire safety techniques.
Manipur Fire Service OC, T Oken Singh of Kangpokpi District, spoke on how fire is not dangerous but careless handling makes it a hazard and how unfortunately, it not only occurs within the boundaries of the household but also increasingly in the forest causing irreparable loss of forest resources besides emitting a lot of poisonous gases into the atmosphere. He also mentioned how most forest fires are man-made and appealed not to involve in such illegal nature destroying activity.
The programme was followed by a hands-on training of various firefighting methods such as use of fire extinguishers, handling of fire tender hose pipe, methods on how to handle a gas cylinder on fire and liquid fuels and fire line cutting methods.
It may be mentioned that kindling or setting fire inside notified forest areas amounts to trespassing and is punishable under Indian Forest Act,1927 read with Manipur Forest Rules, 2021.
The DFO appealed to all not to set fire in the forest and urged all to register under Forest Survey of India’s Forest Fire Alert portal @https://fsiforestfire.gov.in/index.php to be up to date about incidences of forest fires in the district and the state as a whole.
The programme was attended by a total of 140 people from forest and fire department staff, NGOs, CSOs, village committee members, villagers and students.