CANACONA : A huge fire had engulfed a hillock at Chapoli a few kilometres from the Chapoli dam in Canacona.
The fire services personnel worked litrarily throughoutthe Monday night to cordon-off the forested areas from the residential places, and particularly the Chapoli dam.
Incidentally, even though the fire service personnel worked through the night relentlessly, the fire could not be extinguished in any manner and there was no access to the hills and the fire kepts on raging at its free-will.
However, with the cordoning-off of the residential localities, many of the areas are reportedly on evacuation standby. Forest Department ground-staff in cooperation with Fire Services personnel has almost drawn a line clearing the vegetation between the forest and ther residential and areas, virtucally cutting-off fire and to stop its further spread to more areas.
Howerver, the damages to the forest cover, and distressing situation of the animal world/wild live in these dense forests is dangerous and is of grave concern, informed sources.
According to Fire Services, the Fire Tender is placed in the nearby Road, however, the fire site couldn’t be reached till filing of the report, but the personnel physically tried to enter the forests and cut-off the fire from spreading further..
The same Fire sources informed that the the incident was reported at about afternoon time on Monday that some fire with smoke emanating from the hills towards Chapoli dam could be seen from the highway Road. When the fire personel visited nothing could be noticed towards the site pointed by the informer and the fire bridge personnel alongwith fire tender returned back, informed the source.
After sunset a call was again received that the hillock is on fire and the fire fighters rushed to towards trh site, only to find the fire is raging somewhere deep in the jungle. The fire fighters placed the fire tender on the nearest road awaiting directions for further move, informed sources.
Meanwhile according to sources, a huge fire could be seen from the highway Road at Char-rasta, some kilometres away behind the Power Station.
According to local residents, while the fire is seen raging at two different spots, some cracking sounds are coming down the hill implying either huge trees are falling down or the woods are cracking apart due to fire.
Meanwhile Congress leader who is at the site, stated he got in contact with every officer from disaster manager and sought pressing of helicopter services to extinguish the fire, as the hillock is not easily ccesible on foot, forget about a road.
‘the only possibility is for the Air Fire Services, to reach the site through Air by Helicopter.
‘I had requested to Collector (District Disaster management) and Taluka Disaster Management consisting of Canaocna Dy. Collector, Mamlatkar, Police etc.to arrange for helicopter after they agreed to arranged Air Fire Brigade ‘, A team of Shristhal Biodiversity Management Committee led by chairman Vinay Tubki, members Shirish Pai and others also were at the site, congratulating the brave efforts being made by the Fire and Forest personnel appealed to the people not to create panic by sitting at home and instead if possible assist the people working tirelessly.
Interestingly. Jana suspects sabotage in Forest Fire.
Sources in the Fire services informed that the personnel have again began combing of the forest area, where fire is still raging in some parts, ‘ Last night we did maximum to dug-up the area to avoid further fire spread, and today morning again the persoonel have gone to the forests.
While sources, the fire is still burning, the residential areas, are safe at present.
According to Bhandari, there were huge consignment of forest wood for the specially felled trees and the forest officers were supposed to raid the place on Monday. ‘however, being a public holiday (May day) on Monday, the raid was postponed, and taking this advantage, some people have put fire in the woods to destroy the evidence’, Bhandari said.
Stating he is hearing about fire incidents all over Goa, and particularly in Khotigao and Gaondongrim, and this is the second time in Chapoli, but no one is aware about the actual cause of Fire.
‘something should be done in a most urgent manner, there is a dam below, several animal species are endangered.
I am very much concerned that forests are being destroyed in different forms and styles , we don’t know why it happens and who are involved in this. We have never ever encountered such a situation particularly of Forests.’
When asked if he suspect some suspicion on any one, Bhandari said, ‘ people are aware about what is happening in Canacona these days. I am getting calls to inform me that illegal trees felling incidents (some love trees, some fallen trees)have taken place in various areas, and we have made complaints in this regards, they are suspecting the same unscrupulous elements are trying to destroy the evidences, such burning and destroying even the roots of illegally fallen trees.
The sources even tell us to put a pressure on forest department not to allow destruction of tree roots which stands as proof of illegal felling. We never know from this 5- trucks of illegally felled trees is transported from .it cannot be from a single area , from some different villages and forests.
There are also other possibilities that someone is trying to clear the Forests and later get those areas Zones changed. Once trees or vegetation is not there , than it becomes easy to change the Zones from forest to settlement or other. People are suspecting such issues could also be the reason for these type of Fires.
There is no electricity alignment or anything human presence in these forests to claim accidental fire, and still these forests for in flames endangering not only the vegetation, but also animal species are-