1,000 Hectares of Forest Cover Lost to Wildfires in Uttarakhand in 2022

According to estimates, Uttarakhand has lost forestland worth Rs 31 lakh amid the fires this year.

2 min read
Hindi Female
Edited By :Tejas Harad

More than 1,000 hectares of forest cover was lost amid 797 wildfires in Uttarakhand since mid-February 2022.

Experts attributed the wildfires to high-velocity winds, which tend to spread the fires, and the increasing temperature in the state, which make it more likely for them to occur.

The worst affected district in the state is Almora, where a resort was destroyed by a wildfire recently. Around 247 hectares of forestland was destroyed in the district due to 116 blazes, The Times of India reported.

The district's Almora civil division experienced the worst of the wildfires, with around 87 hectares of forestland burnt amid 42 fires.


The second most affected district was Pithoragarh, which lost around 178 hectares of forestland due to 112 fires, followed by Bageshwar and Pauri.

Man-Made Causes

In addition to natural causes, certain man-made causes were also responsible for the high prevalence of such fires, particularly the burning of crop residue by farmers.

Also, "drunk locals" and anti-social elements who throw lit beedis into the forest, which seems to be a harmless act on the surface, sparks the flames enormously "as natural heat dries up the forest floor and turns small sparks into blazes," a forest official was quoted as saying by TOI.

Migration from the state also tends to spur the problem, as houses that are abandoned tend to get converted into grasslands once the house owners leave, which make it more conducive for wildfires to occurs, said SP Singh, an ecologist.

According to estimates, Uttarakhand has lost forestland worth Rs 31 lakh amid the fires this year. Close to 5,000 forest officials have also been deployed to contain the flames.

(With inputs from The Times of India.)

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