Impact of Uttarakhand Forest Fire

By Somali K Chakrabarti

Wildfire

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A few weeks back I had written a poem on Forest Fire.  Here is a following  write up by Reshma Gandhi, elaborating upon the impact of the Forest Fire and the related environmental concerns.

A fierce forest fire blazed across the state of Uttarakhand in May. Ruthless and punishing it created havoc and disaster. Several viewpoints emerge to get us thinking. Was it the aridity of the forest that prompted it? Did the combustible chir pine trees attract it? Political greed too seems to be the motive behind this relentless destruction.

What triggered the Uttarakhand fire is yet unanswered.

There is irreversible geological damage.  Aryabhatta Research Institute for Observational Sciences (ARIES) warns of the environmental consequences. The black carbon and smog from the ash clouds the glaciers of Gangotri, Mikim, Sundardaya, Newla and Cheepa.  This fire could induce quicker global warming and more. The glaciers are at risk. Harmful chemicals such as carbon released in the environment affect human life and other species.

Forest fires in India have been on the rise. They have caused immense destruction of both land and property contributing to huge economic losses. Chhattisgarh in Uttar Pradesh leads the list with 2,442 fires and Maharashtra is at the bottom with 1638 in 2016 alone! This is an extremely grave issue and needs to be addressed with great concern. Both the government and people of India need to take measures to prevent further forest fires.

The scientific community is bothered by these forest fires. G.B Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development (GBPIHED) will soon conduct an expedition to the glaciers to see the effect of the fires on them and collect scientific data for the country and its government.

We need to prevent such fires if we want our future generations to see any kind of green cover in India and the beauty that is created from and by it!

 


A lady with a Masters in English Literature, Reshma Gandhi has a passion for writing. She follows music keenly and has a degree in Hindustani classical music.

 

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Readers Comments (39)

  1. Sanchayita debverma June 29, 2016 @ 1:33 pm

    The author could have done a more intensive study on what caused the forest fire. Uttarakhand did not have good rainfall for the last couple of years. There was/is severe water crisis in almost all villages. The rivers have dried up, the waterfalls have dried up and there is too much deforestation by the businesses associated with people in power. Just stating that we should prevent forest fire is too simple a statement. It would have been nicer if the author spent some time understanding the causes and how govt. can address those causes and what common people can do in their capacity.

    Reply
  2. Devastation of a rich forest must have surely taken along the fauna with it. Just shows proves how ineffectual we really are be its the Govt. or we the people. Let’s hope the re- forestation process begins in right earnest and speedily.m

    Reply
  3. I actually had no idea there were such ruthless fires in India. Sad to hear, but good to hear that ARIES are spreading the word about them. I don’t know the political situation over there, but everyone needs to work together to make sure they don’t happen on this scale again. Sure, the fires can create land for businesses but at the same time the natural environment and homes of animals and locals are being destroyed.

    Reply
  4. bhudeb chakrabarti June 29, 2016 @ 5:30 pm

    We need to build up public consciousness about the need for green and rich forest cover in the interest of the desired quality of life for the present and future generations of people and for ensuring the rich bio-diversity for the survival of our blue planet.

    Reply
  5. The news of the forest fire in Uttarakhand was very depressing. There were varying stories about what caused the fires. I wonder why nothing really came to light. It was clear that the environmental damage would be major.

    Reply
  6. In this case humans are major cause with both the facilitating factors and aggravating issues. I guess mankind fails to understand that short term gains will aggravate the problems. Thanks for posting

    Reply
  7. By now, there should have been some concrete reason as to what caused the fire so that future devastation can be prevented. It is sad that there has been so much loss of forest area and the life that dwelt there. It is high time the government along with the locals comes out with better management plans.

    Reply
  8. Thank you for sharing this update! Absolutely head-shaking…

    Reply
  9. In terms of the incidences of forest fires, this year is particularly bad. Increased incidences of forest fire are often linked with climate change. Some experts suggest poor rainfall, El Nino and climate warming as causes, while some others point fingers at miscreants.
    The Forest Department is the custodian of conservationist endeavors. The department has suffered at all fronts. Be it a shortage of funding, training, manpower and corruption. As per the Forest Survey of India data, almost 50% of India’s forest areas are fire prone.
    The best solution to contain forest fire is by making the locals stakeholders in Conservation endeavours.

    Reply
    • Thank you sir. Participation of the locals is absolutely essential for the success of Conservation endeavours, What is baffling is the amount of time is takes to douse the fire, which makes the delay look deliberate prompted by material gains for some entities.

      Reply
  10. Thank you all your feedback. We look forward to your support and comments always.

    Thank you. Do write to us.

    Reply
  11. It’s high time the people come together, be it activism or online, to spread the word how its devastating wild life, nature and life itself. Great initiative Reshma Gandhi.

    Reply
  12. Nature is the best barometer to test the way human beings have engaged or exposed the vulnerability of nature. Forest fires are symptoms of bigger malice we as mankind have been so unkind to our nature and inflicted the immeasurable agony. We have taken things for granted and have done so for long and there is a limit to everything and extricating things from nature and not been considerate can take us so far and further we need to prepare ourselves to face the dire consequences unless we mend our ways. In that way nature is always fair and gives us enough warning and signals to correct our ways of dealing with it, so much we are indulged in our reckless lifestyle and never allowing our life to take that break and make that adjustment with the requirement of preserving and protecting nature. 😀

    Yes, the rising temperature this year across the globe and the scanty rainfall for last couple of years are symptomatic in nature and we have ignored and never have given the due that nature deserves and made any attempt that can change the way we have dealing and squarely responsible for destroy the core of nature, deforestation to urbanization to pollution to population mindlessly inhabiting the catchment areas are something cannot be pardoned and overlooking that just cannot protect us from such natural calamities.

    Yes Somali, really appreciate the attempt made by the author and bring such cases onto the forefront of debate and discussion, such important to keep raising and address the problem in a cohesive and concerted manner.

    😀

    Reply
    • Thank you. I can hear the Voice of Nature in your words Nihar. 🙂 I sincerely feel that we should take into cognizance the warning signals that could be symptomatic of unfolding of major disaster or calamity. Reiterating the message again and again hopefully may lead to some awareness.

      Reply
      • Yes, Somali always have that soft corner for nature and you can hear the voice, and thanks for recognizing it and you have that insightful thought and incisive observation.
        More awakening and more thrust needs to given by one and all, it is state of urgency many are not able to fathom it that is unfortunate part of the debate…
        😀

        Reply
  13. The thing is, the damage has been done and, the horror is, it’s irreversible! I think the Government should try to make people aware of the possible reasons that could initiate a forest fire. Nowhere I’ve seen such awareness posts or messages. If the reasons are known, the local people can at least try to prevent its occurrence.

    Reply
  14. Thank you Maniparna. The lack of interest or conflicting interests could be the reason behind the prolonged duration for which the forest fires continue. Hope they take the needed steps to prevent the occurrence in future.

    Reply
  15. Forest fires are so destructive in their force to everything around them, They can sweep so quickly out of control and nothing in their path escapes if they are not quick enough to escape.. Thank you for this added information xxx

    Reply
  16. We certainly need more advocates like you, Somali. Animals and the forests can’t speak for themselves. Thank you. xo

    Reply
  17. Great blog, followed it, see my blog also , might be u like it to read/follow.

    Reply
  18. This makes me so sad because it’s the land of my ancestors and still the home of my nani. The people of this land have had to fend for themselves autonomously but now people are being driven out by the constant disregard from the government. I know it should make me angry but it just makes me sad… this is someone’s history that is literally being burned away. -love- a garwhali girl

    Reply
    • This is what happens when vested interests take over long term sustainability and well being. Perhaps it is needed that environmental awareness is instilled among people from childhood so that they don’t ruthlessly destroy the forests. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your views.

      Reply

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