Aizawl: Around 1,300 forest fires were reported in Mizoram last year, officials said.
Around 1,090 incidents were caused due to slash-and- burn ”jhum” cultivation and only 210 were due to natural causes, they said.
Addressing a programme here on Monday during the observance of fire prevention week, Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said a large section of agriculturists in the state still practices ”jhum” cultivation despite interventions by successive governments to introduce settled farming.
In view of this, awareness of fire prevention is of utmost importance, he said.
He lauded organisations like the Young Mizo Association (YMA) and village councils for working with government agencies to prevent the eruption of fires.
Environment Minister T J Lalnuntluanga, while addressing a programme in Champhai, said that an afforestation drive funded by the North East Council will be launched in the district.
As per the India State of Forest Report (ISFR)-2019 released by the Forest Survey of India (FSI), Mizoram has a forest cover of 85.41 per cent, down from 86.26 per cent in 2017.
Champhai district has the lowest forest cover at 78.09 per cent. PTI