French woman caught in a forest fire near Nainital rescued

NAINITAL: A 25-year-old French woman and nine others, who were trapped in a Jeolikote, some 15 km away, were rescued by police on Friday morning.

The woman and other people were inside a, who conducted studies on the ecology of the Himalayas, when the fire spread near 1 am on Friday.

After receiving a distress call, a police team was sent to the area. However, the police had to face many obstacles, as the road leading to the research center was covered in smoke from forest fires. The team walked an additional 4 kilometers through the Dogaon uphill to reach the center.

Speaking with TOI, Deputy Inspector Dinesh Chandra Joshi, who led the team, said: After receiving a call, we took the fire crew and ran into the area. However, the road leading to the center was covered in smoke. We take the Dogaon section to get to the center. The fire went off at 4 in the morning. No one was hurt.

A relieved Eloise, who had come to India in May of this year, said: I am grateful to the people who saved me. The fire destroyed many trees and caused minor damage in our center.

Pankaj Rawat, who runs the center, said: Around 1 in the morning, the fire reached near the center. Then we made a call to the police. Fortunately they arrived on time.

The wildfires have been unleashed this summer season, which poses serious challenges for the authorities. So far, a total of 1,684 wildfire incidents were recorded through Thursday. The forest fires have engulfed more than 2,200 hectares of forest area, with the resulting economic losses linked to Rs 40.76 lakh. Officials have attributed the forest fire to the rising temperature in the hills.