Why do massive fires occur in forests of Uttarakhand every year?

The forest fire in Uttarakhand has become so severe that the help of Air Force's Mi-17 helicopter had to be taken in Nainital and a 41-member contingent of NDRF was also fielded on Sunday.

Bhoomi Goyal
Published on: 8 May 2024 2:05 PM GMT
Why do massive fires occur in forests of Uttarakhand every year?
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Every year, precious forest wealth is reduced to ashes due to summer fires in the forests of Uttarakhand. Crores of rupees are spent every year in the name of extinguishing fires, but neither the forests are saved nor the fires are extinguished. Ultimately only the sky rain can calm the forest fire.

The forest fire in Uttarakhand has become so severe that the help of Air Force's Mi-17 helicopter had to be taken in Nainital and a 41-member contingent of NDRF was also fielded on Sunday. Till Sunday, in 606 incidents, more than seven hundred and fifty hectares of area had come under fire. Despite this the forests are continuously burning. The question arises that why the forest department with its jumbo jet army fails to save the forest. Former Forest Minister Navprabhat says that forest fires cannot be extinguished by helicopters. Only British era measures like cutting fire lines and fire control burning can be effective in this, which the Forest Department has almost avoided.

It is not surprising that a forest fire occurs during summer, but in some states these fires become out of control. Uttarakhand is one of them. These days, the incident of fire in the forests of the state has taken a frightening form. Why has this not been controlled? The main reason for this is the nature of the forest. Pine trees are in abundance in the forests of Uttarakhand. The British had planted them in the entire state to make coal. The more usefulness they have, the more harm they cause. A liquid called Lisa comes out from the pine tree. Their leaves also contain very high amount of oil. They are called Peerul in the local language. Due to the high amount of oil in the leaves, not only do they catch fire quickly, but they are also dangerous in case of fire. The fire that starts from the leaves engulfs the trees also. This problem becomes even worse during the summer due to dry weather. Now unless it rains, all efforts will prove incomplete. Efforts to extinguish the fire become even more difficult due to the inaccessible and mountainous route. Environmentalist Puran Chandra Tiwari says that the most important reason for the fire is that the rights that the villagers had earlier were taken away. Due to which the cooperation of the villagers has reduced a lot. The second reason is that the Forest Department is adopting the same ancient system of extinguishing fires. He said that the third reason is that people are also cooperating in setting the fire. This fire is not starting on its own.

Forest Minister Subodh Uniyal says that our first focus is on connecting people with forests and minimizing the response time in case of fire. For this, the department is now working on many far-reaching schemes. The Forest Department is emphasizing on making its policies public friendly. More than 11 thousand Van Panchayat Samitis are now being given permission to do agriculture on Van Panchayat land. Eco destination sites are being created in every division, which will be operated by local people's committees. Apart from this, there is a plan to build rain water harvesting tanks in fire sensitive forests.

Bhoomi Goyal

Bhoomi Goyal

English Content Writer in Newstrack from Jaipur, Rajasthan. (Education, Business, Technology, Political, Sports, Lifestyle, Crime and Webstories)

My self Bhoomi Goyal from Jaipur, Rajasthan. I have passed my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication this year. I worked in Rajasthan Patrika for six months as an intern. I am working here from June 1st. I passed my graduation in BCA from Rajasthan University and master's in journalism and mass communication from Vivekananda Global University, Jaipur.

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