The Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA) on Wednesday has issued some fire safety tips to the public to stay safe from fire accidents.
Highlighting incidents of wild or forest fires during the windy season in the past which has damaged precious flora and fauna in the state, the NSDMA pointed out these recurring forest fires have destroyed hundreds of acres of forest cover. It said fire incidents have been recorded as one of the major disastrous events in Nagaland.
During the Japfu and Dzukuo forest fire in the year 2015 the Indian Air Force had to be called in along with a host of officials from the Forest Department, NSDMA, DDMA, SDRF to douse the raging fire.
According to NSDMA forest fire-related dangers can be minimized by being informed about certain dos and don’ts. The NSDMA urged the public to be informed while going on an outing to the forest during dry or windy season about the danger in the region or in the sector where they intend to go and the preventive measures in effect.
It also requested the people to have an emergency kit at home always and burn anything (household waste, dead leaf) at the end of the day, when there is no wind, far from vegetation.
The NSDMA advised that cigarettes, matches from moving vehicles should never be discarded anywhere near forests. “Be certain to completely extinguish cigarettes before disposing them,” it said.
If caught in a wildfire, it advised, to look for a body of water such as a pond or river to crouch in. If there is no water nearby, it asked all concerned to find a depressed, cleared area with vegetation, lie low to the ground, and cover their body with wet clothing, a blanket or even soil.
“Stay low and covered until the fire passes. Protect your lungs by breathing air closest to the ground, through a moist cloth, if possible, to avoid inhaling smoke,” it further advised the public.
The NSDMA also requested the public to report sightings of wildfire to it in toll free number 1070 which is active 24X7 or the District Fire & Emergency Services.