The fire in the forests so far reminds us of America and Brazil. But now, the news of fire is currently coming from the forests of our own Uttarakhand. It is not only strange that the forests of India are on fire. It is not uncommon to have a fire in the forests, but the surprising thing is that now fire incidents are happening in the forests when they did not happen before. If you think about it, then you will understand that it has a direct relationship with the changing climate, ie climate change.
Thinking simplistically, we realize that summer is growing, tree plants are drying up more, the water of the earth is drying up, the broken leaves are drying quickly and the dried leaves also become the cause of fire. In India too, the effect of all this is clearly visible. In the year 2020, there were major incidents of fire in the jungles of at least 4 states of India. These states were Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Nagaland.
Of government data According to the number of incidents of fire during the winter season in Uttarakhand in the last year 2020, it is less than the incidents from February to May. And this year, once again there are pictures of fire in the forests . From Simlipal National Park in Odisha to Kullu in Himachal Pradesh and from the Nagaland-Manipur border to Nainital in Uttarakhand, forests are on fire. Experts believe that fire incidents in the forests are as old as these forests are. But in the last few years, the way the number of fire incidents in the forests and their nature is becoming huge, it is becoming troublesome.
Now the question arises here, why is this happening? By the way, the fire of the forests is usually due to human negligence. But in this case, it is important to know the opinion of experts.
Dr. Jagdish Krishnaswamy, Senior Fellow, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) explains, “Nowadays the weather is very hot in some parts of the country, and there are different types of forest fires. The news is coming. ” Also these days, combining traditional practices such as the use of ground fire with the crop of mahua is likely to increase the incidence of fire in the forests. However, these other factors are not relevant in Uttarakhand as compared to high temperatures.
He further states that the dry fuel availability has increased these days due to the drying up of the shrubs that grow on the mountains due to high heat and there is a possibility of its easy ignition and flammability. In the beginning of this year, Uttarakhand experienced a major winter rain deficiency. Instead of 50 mm (mm) as every year, the rainfall level this year was around 10 mm, which is much lower than normal. The global warming rate is the highest in the Himalayas anyway. The lack of monsoon rain is enough to dry out the vegetation there and turn it into flammable fuel. The western disturbances that typically bring rain in January and February were virtually non-existent this year. Adding to this, Dr. Krishnaswamy states, “All these factors together are contributing to the availability of dry grass, shrub and vegetation which is enough to easily ignite and spread.”
But the human role cannot be denied here. Meanwhile, it should also be noted that the government also believes that about 10 percent of the forest area in India is such that it is repeatedly affected by fire. But the forest department has neither staff nor resources.
Now in such a situation, does not the role of society make it possible for them to contribute as well? If human is the factor of climate change, global warming, and forest fires, then it is also human’s role in dealing with this.