Daytime Cooking Banned During Deadly Indian Heatwave
Fires, mostly from cooking, have killed dozens
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2016 10:28 AM CDT
An Indian village man sprinkles water from a broken pipe onto his face on Friday.   (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

(Newser) – Faced with deadly fires during a blistering weeks-long heatwave, one Indian state has made the "unprecedented" move of banning daytime cooking, the Guardian reports. "After a review of fire incidents, we've seen that most of them were caused by cooking fires," a senior disaster management official tells the BBC. Those fires have killed between 67 and 79 people over the past month. The new ban prohibits cooking between 9am and 6pm in the state of Bihar, punishable by up to a year in jail. It also forbids religious fire rituals and burning old crops. According to the International Business Times, 10 children were killed in a fire that started during a religious ceremony.

Temperatures have risen above 111 degrees during the Indian heatwave, and the accompanying drought has left at least 333 million people without an adequate amount of water. More than 300 people have died from the heatwave this month, and monsoon rains aren't expected to bring relief until June.