New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The year which has broken the COVID havoc on the country and the world, has brought along a series of unfathomable tragedies, from Amphan cyclone to the worst attack of Locust swarms in decades -- 2020 has become the highlight of the most tragic times being experienced by all of us. Enter another significant environmental tragedy, which has hit the state of Uttarakhand in Northern India, in what has now become a respite-less struggle for the fire fighters controlling the raging forest fires in the state.

What started off as a forest fire which affected 5-6 hectares of forests in Pauri Garhwal district's Srinagar on 23rd May, has now gutted over 51 hectares of the forests across multiple districts of Uttarakhand, leading to the deaths of two citizens and burn injuries to another.

Pauri Garhwal's Forest Officer Anita Kunwar had then told the news agency ANI that 'fire could not be controlled due to wind' and stated the orders to call more teams to extinguish the fire.

The forest fires have entered the fourth straight day of their destruction, and though the government claims the situation to be under control, but sporadic instances of raging fires continue across the state.

What's making the matters worse?

Most of the Northern India is undergoing severe to very severe ranges of the heatwave, with the plains recording above 40 degrees of temperature and hills above 30. According to the meteorological norms, any temperature five degrees above these benchmarks, in these geographical setups, can lead to the conditions conducive of igniting fires. These fires could rage uncontrollably, if the moisture in the air remains negligible with dry spells around.

The current weather conditions, amid the heatwave spell are proving to be conducive of forest fires to rage on across an expanded area, despite continuous efforts to douse the same.

Huge green covers gutted in forest fires

According to a report in Business Insider, Kumaon region, which has the densest green cover in the state, is the worst-hit area with almost two dozen incidents of forest fires, and dry weather conditions.
The Garhwal region has witnessed 16 incidents of forest fires and the reserve forest areas in the state has witnessed 9 incidents of forest fires until the evening of 26th May.

Tweeples trend #PrayForUttarakhand, draw parallels with Amazon and Australian Forest fires

Israel's ambassador in New Delhi Dr. Ron Malka expressed his concern about the raging fires, and hoped that 'fires are extinguished soon'.

A Twitter user shared the visuals of Srinagar in Pauri Garhwal district, from where the fires are reported to have started, and drew parallels between Uttrakhand's forest fires with the ones which Australia and Amazon faced last year.

"...Amazon & Australia's incidents saddened us, But when our own Uttrakhand in burning for last 4days, We're silent (sic)," wrote another user.

"...Amazon saddened us, but our own Uttarakhand doesn't?," questioned a Twitter user.

"...We prayed for Australia and Amazon. Let's pray for Uttarakhand and trees and the wildlife suffering from it. #UttarakhandForestFire," wrote another Twitter user.

Meanwhile, the government of Uttarakhand continues to actively respond against the rising Coronavirus cases in the state. As of Tuesday, the number of active cases stands at 284, while 58 patients have been discharged after recovery so far, the latest state Health Department bulletin stated.

Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat held a meeting on Tuesday with senior officials in Haldwani to review the situation in the state, especially in Nainital district, which has reported 117 cases so far. 

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta