The hilly states of Uttarakhand recently witnessed a massive forest fire. With the rising mercury level, Uttarakhand’s forest fire has now reached its peak. The fire broke out in Srinagar of Pauri Garhwal district on Saturday May 23. The concern of everyone has increased as it recorded 20 incidents of forest fire in a span of four days; although the rate of spread of fire is quite low compared to previous years due to the weather change.
According to the forest department team, the fire broke out in a forest area which is 3 Km away from the Srinagar city. The Forest Officer Anita Kunwar in an interview stated that “5- 6 hectares of the forest cover has been affected. The fire could not be controlled due to wind. More teams will be called to extinguish it.” Till now, two persons have died and have sustained injuries while trying to escape the wildfires.
The state so far has reported 46 wildfire incidents, among which 21 wildfires have been reported
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from the Kumaon region. The Garhwal region and the reserve forest region in the state have witnessed 16 and 9 wildfires respectively. In these wildfires, around 51.34 hectares of the forest cover has been destroyed. The forest department has incurred a loss of Rs.1.32 lakh due to these forest fires this year.
Last year the state had recorded 1,170 cases till May but this year due to intermittent rains and high moisture the number of forest fires has been limited. Due to rain and snowfall at regular intervals, the forest fires did not break out earlier.
Uncontrolled exploitation of bio-resources is taking place, so the predators, smugglers are obsessed with wildlife. The biodiversity here, have also been affected due to the unplanned development. Given this, conservation of the biodiversity here has to be taken care of at all levels.
The economy is already badly affected due to COVID- 19 and due to the nationwide lockdown ecological tourism has taken a pause which is badly affecting the economy and now the forest fires have caused a huge loss to the state. In this view, the state wants to bring the economy back on track by promoting ecological tourism without disturbing nature. In this, the standards of physical distance can be properly compiled with and income can be obtained with fewer tourists.