With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Uttarakhand is facing a devastating incident of a forest fire. Since Saturday, 46 forest fires in Uttarakhand caused havoc, leading to a loss of approximately Rs 1.32 lakhs. Over 51.34 hectares of forest land has been covered in flames putting the wildlife species residing in the forests in danger.
The Kumaon region had a maximum of 21 wildfires reported. The Garhwal Region has witnessed 16, and the reserve forest areas in the State witnessed nine wildfires.
Increasing temperature and hot spells have pumped super hot winds throughout northern India, which with South-East Pakistan, is the warmest region in the world (as on May, 26). The government had recorded 1,170 cases of wildfires until May last year, but this year the number of such cases has been limited by factors such as intermittent rainfall and high forest moisture content have limited the number of such instances.
Netizens have taken to social media sharing visuals to appeal for help and prayer.
However, some old images are also being circulated claiming to be of a recent incident. NDTV reporter Gargi Rawat tweeted a video as Dr Parag Madhuka, Chief Conservator of Forests at Uttarakhand Forest Dept clears out facts about the forest fire.
In a tweet, Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda urged the netizen not to spread the panic and asked them to stop comparing Uttarakhand's "natural phenomenon" with Australian bush fires.
Dr Parag Madhuka also tweeted out that the forest fire "are being handled diligently with active forest fire point tracking and dousing work is on by forest crew's".