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Forest Fire in Uttarakhand



Source: India Today

 Context: Large Forest fires are raging with forest fires across Uttarakhand. Nearly a hundred hectares of forest have been destroyed, exacerbated by dry conditions from the prevailing heatwave.

In some regions of Uttarakhand, fires were doused with the help of a Bambi bucket, a specialised aerial fire-fighting tool used to pour water in targeted areas.

Uttarakhand faces frequent forest fires due to adverse climate conditions like heatwaves and dry spells, exacerbated by the presence of dry pine needles and human activities like burning forests for fresh grass and carelessly discarding cigarette butts.

More than 36% of India’s forest cover is estimated to be prone to frequent forest fires.

To address forest fires, initiatives like the National Action Plan on Forest Fires 2018,  State of Forest Report 2021 and the Forest Survey of India’s Van Agni Geo-portal have been implemented. The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, prohibits setting fire in wildlife sanctuaries. Preventive measures include the construction of watch towers for early detection, the involvement of local communities, and the creation and maintenance of fire lines.