Farm fires hit 2-week low!
Chandigarh: Punjab on Sunday registered 599 farm fires, the fewest in a day since October 25 this year and around one-fourth the number logged on Saturday (2,817), as strong winds kept cultivators wary of setting their paddy stubble ablaze.
Punjab agriculture department, farmers did not set their crop residue on fire, worrying that the strong winds may cause the blazes to spread to neighbouring fields or accidentally cause freshly sown crops to catch fire.
“As wind speed picked up pace, farmers were reluctant to set stubble ablaze as it could have led to accidental fires in nearby fields. Thus, the number of farm fires saw a decline,” said the official, requesting anonymity.
While the strong winds helped dissipate the thick smog in the region, the air quality index (AQI) was still recorded in the ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ categories by three key air quality monitoring stations on the weekend.
During winter, smoke from farm fires in Punjab and Haryana can contribute to over 40% of Delhi’s PM2.5 levels, pushing the Capital into an air emergency. A change in wind direction towards the city, or stronger local winds, can clear up the air to some extent, as it has over the weekend.
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