There Have Been 46 Wildfires in Uttarakhand. Time to Pray Just the Way We Did for Amazon & Australia

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There Have Been 46 Wildfires in Uttarakhand. Time to Pray Just the Way We Did for Amazon & Australia

Illustration: Representation Graphic/Robin Chakraborty

As if a pandemic, a swarm of locusts, and a super cyclone wasn’t enough to deal with, the latest bit of evidence that 2020 isn’t done doling out bad news comes from Uttarakhand.

Forest fires have been reported in the Himalayan state since the start of the year, seriously threatening the flora and fauna in the region. And though the last five days have seen destruction of 81 hectares of land, it is not as bad as it is not as bad as some social media posts claim.

In fact, the Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat and forest department are trying to debunk the rumours that are spreading faster than the forest fires.

According to a report in The Print, 62 incidents of forest fires have been recorded in the state. A Times of India report on May 24, puts the number at 46. It also says that 51.34 hectares of forest cover has been charred. But a lot of images being circulated on social media are not from this year.

In fact, many images that capture the hellish landscape in vivid detail are not from India at all.

However, the rising temperatures have led to more fires in the last couple of days. The Garhwal region and the reserve forest areas in the state have been affected, with the latest fire starting in Pauri Garhwal a few days ago.

The good news is that there have been a lot fewer fires in the state this year, mostly due to intermittent spells of rainfall, and increased moisture content in the air. But with everything going on, the news of forest fires is indeed overwhelming. Let’s hope 2020 doesn’t have any more surprises in store for us.

This piece has been updated to include some factual inaccuracies that came to light later.

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