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Wildfires give tough time to emergency fire services

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SHILLONG, May 2: The Fire and Emergency Service (F&ES) department is facing a tough time considering the fact that they are attending to around 20 to 25 cases of wildfire across the state.
Speaking to a section of reporters, Superintendent of Police, F&ES, DM Sangma, said that they facing difficulties in controlling the situation since they are required to attend to several fire incidents every day. “This is the situation right now. It is really difficult,” he said.
Sangma said most of the cases are being reported from forests, while pointing out that it is a result of the carelessness on the part of people. People would throw cigarette buds or beedi after smoking without extinguishing them.
Talking about the fire at the PHE godown recently, Sangma said that the plastic pipes stored at the facility were gutted due to jungle fire.
He, however, said that prevention and precaution will have to be exercised by the people.
“The only thing we can do is send our men whenever fire incidents are reported. Our men will make efforts to douse the fire,” the F&ES SP said.
Sangma also impressed upon people to immediately inform the department about any fire incident.
“Now it is very easy as people will just need to dial 112 and we will be alerted. Our men will start within two minutes from the fire station after the call,” the SP said.
Manpower crisis another major issue
Informing that the F&ES department is facing an acute shortage of manpower, the SP said they are providing short-term training to around 120 Home Guard volunteers. “We are employing the Home Guard volunteers to help the firemen,” Sangma added.
It may be mentioned that several fire incidents have been reported in Shillong and its adjoining areas.
The personnel of the F&ES department on Monday battled 13 jungle fires, two fire incidents involving transformers, a sawmill fire, a case of vehicle being set ablaze as well as a short circuit case involving an electric pole.
They attended 10 forest fires and a drowning case on April 26, which was followed by a jungle fire on April 27 and 15 similar cases on April 28.

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