India has already seen 3 massive forest fires in the year 2021. Since the start of this year, there has been a sequence of forest fires in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland-Manipur border, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, also in many wildlife sanctuaries and protected forest areas.
In the month of April and May forest fires are usually witnessed. But in Uttarakhand, they have taken place in winters also and the dry soil on the ground due to poor monsoon is one of the major reason for such incidents.
Uttarakhand: The state has seen over 1,000 incidents of a forest fire over the last six months, including 45 in the last 24 hours alone, they have reached out to the Centre for helicopters and personnel from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). 5 people and a few other animals have been reported killed.
Madhya Pradesh: Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is spread across 100 square km and it is one of the most popular national parks in India for Royal Bengal tigers.The forest fire in Bandhavgarh was spread in several zones and locals said that the authorities did not take proper actions on time. Frightening images and videos have been shared from Bandhavgarh.
Odisha: In March 2021 forest fires in Similipal Biosphere in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj spread across the area and a large part of the forest was affected by the same.
Gujrat: In January Gujrat’s Kutch district, witnessed a wildfire between the Mata na Madh and Ravapar of the Nakhatrana region. But with the constant efforts of the authorities and forest department, the damage was controlled.
The connection between forest fires and climate change is like a chain reaction. While climate change is known to increase the chances of forest fires increase as they unlock the trapped carbon which exists in the forest results in global warming.
Indian forests are becoming more and more vulnerable to forest fires due to the harsh summers, erratic rainfall and long dry spells which are mostly instigated by the changing climate.