Mangaluru, Jan 17, 2018: The early arrival of dry summer in the coastal district has fire fighters on alert. Mangaluru, the district headquarters, has two stations, while each of the four other taluks has one. Each fire station in Dakshina Kannada has been receiving more than 2-3 emergency calls per day, and that is going to be the case till May, when the summer subsides.
According to officials, calls pertaining to fire breaking out in public areas due to grass burning and other reasons start at February-end. "But it has started in January itself. On an average, four cases per day — majority of them being on grass burning — are attended to by the fire officials in Mangaluru," T N Shivashankar, chief fire officer, stated.
Pandeshwar and Kadri fire stations received 20 and 30 calls, respectively. On January 14 alone, Pandeshwar station received seven calls. "Such calls will continue till summer is over," Shivashankar added.
However, not all emergency calls are serious in nature. A fire officer, who did not want to be named, said that their personnel had even gone to far-off places, only to find fire lit on grass. "Those noticing fire call us without knowing that it is set by people to clear grass grown on their land. We know about it only after reaching the spot," the officer added.
However, accidental fires are also reported, and majority of them are from taluks like Puttur, Belthangady and Sullia which are rich in rubber plantations.
Officers maintain that they do cross-check the calls before rushing to spots. "We check the veracity of each call that we get. But at times, we find them false," the officer claimed.