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Home » Uttarakhand » Uttarakhand Forest Fire not severe as social media posts claim, says Uttarakhand minister and Environmentalist

Uttarakhand Forest Fire not severe as social media posts claim, says Uttarakhand minister and Environmentalist

The Uttarakhand forest fire incident have affected about 81 hectares of land in the state over the last five days, causing losses worth Rs 2.19 lakh, according to the state forest department.

By Deeksha Sharma
Published on :

#UttarakhandForestFire: The social media trends comes up with suggesting new calamities each day and one such trend this week has been the forest fires in the Himalayan region of Uttarakhand, which has turned out to be not as severe as the social media posts claim.

The Uttarakhand forest fire incident have affected about 81 hectares of land in the state over the last five days, causing losses worth Rs 2.19 lakh, according to the state forest department.

As of Wednesday evening, around 60 incidents have been recorded in the state but this year the forest fire is at a record low in Uttarakhand, Madan Kaushik, Uttarakhand Cabinet Minister, told Newsd.

He further added to it that news circulating on social media about Uttarakhand forest fire is incorrect and the forest fire in the region occurs every year but this time it has been relatively low and the forest department has been doing their best.

However, compared to the trends over the last few years, the number of forest fires witnessed this summer is among the lowest and there are no abnormal fire incidents in the region, say the sources from the forest department.

Congress leader Indira Hridayesh, in conversation with Newsd said that this time the fire has been relatively low but the government and Forest department should not wait for the rain to occur to stop the fire.

She further added to it that the rapidly rising temperatures over the last few days triggered the forest fire incidents and people should not circulate the fake fire news as most of the pictures circulated on the social media are not even from Uttarakhand.

Professor BD Joshi, Environmentalist and Retd. Professor of Zoology, Uttarakhand, told Newsd that forest fire in the dense forest area is a every year issue but this time it has been low but that doesn’t mean the forest department can take the matter lightly as in times of coronavirus pandemic, we are dealing with global warming too. The government and Forest Department should not take the matter in a careless way.

The occurrence of forest fires are often natural during dry seasons and it helps to regenerate forests. However, the uncontrollable fire incidents in recent years across Amazon, Australia and even in Karnataka’s Bandipur region had gutted thousands of hectares of forest.

According to experts they believe that the forest departments in India have been vigilant to combat such risk as and when they arise.

Uttarakhand is home to more than 24,000 sq km of forest area, that comprises a huge part of the biodiversity hotspot, the Himalayas. More than 45% of the state’s geography is covered under forest area, as per the India State of Forest Report 2019.

Around 30% of the forest area in the state has a high to moderate vulnerability to forest fires, and therefore they are a common occurrence in this region during summer months.

Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda had earlier urged netizens to refrain from spreading panic and asked them to stop comparing the “natural phenomenon” of Uttarakhand to the likes of Australian bushfires.

CM Trivendra Singh Rawat also asked social media users to not fall for the fake news and he further said “A misleading propaganda, using old pics of forest fires of 2016 & 2019 & that of forest fires in Chilean & Chinese forests, is raging on SM. I req everyone to not believe such motivated campaign. Fire incidents reported until yesterday is way less than PY”

He also thanked actor Randeep Hooda, “Dear @RandeepHooda : thank you for your support in helping expose the reality of fake & concerted social media campaign against our DevBhumi.”

Dr Parag Madhukar, Conservator in Forest Department, however, denied any such massive wildfires in the area. In fact, Madhukar informed that the visuals going around on social media showing Uttarakhand engulfed in flames were indeed fake. The video of the same was shared by journalist Gargi Rawat on Twitter.

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