The forest fires occurring in Uttarakhand is continuing to take its toll and everything that is coming in its way is being engulfed in the fire, around 1890.79 hectares of forest land have been emblazed in the Garhwal and Kumaon region. About 922 cases of forest fire have been reported since early February in which 5 causalities, including 3 women and a child in separate incidents and 7 injuries have been reported. Looking at the grave matter, Governor K.K Paul has deployed 3 NDRF forces to control the raging forest fire. The most affected areas include Pauri, Tehri, and Nainital as they are surrounded by Chir and Sal trees which are highly inflammable.
Are the forest fires occurring on its own or there is a foul play behind it because in just one week about 398 incidents have been reported so far and the damage is uncountable. A number of threatened wildlife, flora and fauna have been charred by these raging fires. Even the preserved forest land is now burning in fumes.
If you check out the stats around 179 incidents of fire have occurred in Garhwal belt which burnt about 253.70 hectares of land while, 118 fire incidents have taken place in Bhagirathi circle that affected around 129.50 hectares of land. Apart from this about 22 fire incidents have affected 57.60 hectares in the civil forest area. These stats have come from the office of the Chief Conservator of forests in Pauri Garhwal.
In Garhwal forest circle, out of 353.70 hectares forest being affected, 123.45 hectares has been burnt in reserve forest area while the fire affected 230.25 hectares in the civil forest area. According to G.S Sonar, the Conservator of forest Garhwal Circle around 8 hectares of plantation area has been affected which has destroyed around 2,800 plants (not to forget these are life-forms too).
The women from Nachani area of Munsiyari who are solely dependent on dairy farming, told they don’t even have fire extinguishers to protect the forests from fire which is their main source of getting fodder for their livestock. They apprised Baibhav Gupta, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Munsiyari, of their woes who reached the area to take stock of the situation. “We have taken the responsibility of saving the 144 hectares of forest from fire. We take turns to guard it during night hours as anti-social elements set the forest on fire,” said Tulsi Devi, Sarpanch of the Nachni Forest Panchayat.
In Almora, fire engulfed Someshwar forests range yesterday. “We have now decided to arrest the person, who is caught setting forest in fires, under Forest Act,” said SR Prajapati, Divisional Forest Officer, Almora.
Src : tribuneindia