April 21, 2016 2:57:09 am
A fire erupted in the Aravali hill stretch on Gurgaon-Faridabad Road at about 2 pm Wednesday and spread to more than 10 acres, damaging forest land and a few farmhouses, said a forest department officer. Firefighters battled the blaze for nearly three hours before bringing it under control, the officer added.
Initially, a short circuit in high-tension wires was suspected to have triggered the blaze, but it was not confirmed by officials. “The cause of the fire is not certain as of now, as there were no high-tension wires above this part of the Aravali. As soon we got to know of the situation, efforts were made to control the fire. A probe is on,” said MD Sinha, Conservator of Forests (south), Gurgaon.
According to forest officials, this part of the Aravali is a part of the foothills and is yet to be designated Natural Conservation Zone. This is privately owned land and does not come under the fire department, said an official. The fire damaged thousands of trees and plants in and around the hill near Ghatta village, said the official. Wind caused the fire to spread, the official added.
This is the second fire in Aravali Range in a week. A fire broke out at Titdali village near Badshahpur last Thursday and spread to a 2 km area due to strong winds, said officials. Firefighters took nearly eight hours to control the blaze.
Sinha said forest fire is a new phenomenon here and the department will have to be equipped to deal with such incidents. “We have decided to purchase a fire tender for every forest range to act on time.”
The owner of a farmhouse which was damaged said fire tenders from a real estate developer reached the spot first and the Chief Fire Officer’s number was not reachable. Later, fire tenders from both DLF Phase V and Sector 29 reached the spot.
When people called the fire brigade office, the landline was found to be “out of service”. Calls to the number of Gurgaon’s chief fire officer on the fire department website elicited “invalid or incorrect number” message.
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