Aizawl: Mizoram reported at least 1,300 forest fire incidents in 2020.
Of the total 1,300 cases, 210 were actual forest fire, while the remaining 1,090 were caused due to slash-and-burn Jhum cultivation.
Fire prevention week was inaugurated across Mizoram on Monday to spread awareness about the cause and prevention of forest fire and other fire incidents.
The main event held at ATI auditorium in Aizawl was attended by state chief secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo.
Speaking on the occasion, Chuaungo said that despite interventions by successive governments to introduce settled cultivation, the traditional system of jhum cultivation is still practised by a large section of agriculturists in the state.
Because of this, observance of fire prevention week and awareness on the matter is of utmost importance, he said.
He lauded the efforts of civic organizations like the Young Mizo Association (YMA) and village councils for their commitment to working with government agencies towards fire prevention measures and activities.
He mentioned that progress has been made on this front but more awareness is the need of the hour, he noted.
Three fire incidents have been reported this year.
Environment, Forest and Climate Change (EF&CC) minister T.J. Lalnuntluanga graced the inaugural function of fire prevention week in Champhai.
He said that afforestation of denuded hills Champhai district project will be launched, which will be funded by North East Council (NEC).
According to India State of Forest Report (ISFR)-2019 released by Forest Survey of India (FSI), Mizoram’s current forest cover is 85.41 per cent against 86.26 per cent in 2017.
Champhai district has the lowest forest cover at 78.09 per cent.
Out of the 16 forest types, Mizoram has 6 forest types.