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Many fold rise in intense forest fires in India

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Many fold rise in intense forest fires in India

According to a study, it has been found that in the last two decades there has been a huge increase in the incidence and intensity of forest fires.

Recently, ‘Council for Energy, Environment and Water’ (CEEW) has released a study report named ‘Managing Forest Fires in Changing Climate’.

Key findings of the study:

  • More than 75% of Indian districts in the country are hotspots with extreme climatic events. While 30% of the districts are hotspots for extreme forest fires.
  • The incidents of forest fires have increased 10 times in the last two decades.
  • Among the Global South countries, India is the second most vulnerable country in terms of forest fires.
  • Mizoram has recorded the highest number of forest fires during the last two decades.
  • 89% of extreme hotspot districts in terms of forest fires are mainly located in drought-prone hotspot areas
  • Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra are the most vulnerable states to high intensity forest fire events due to rapid climate change.
  • Recently, the fire in Rajasthan’s Sariska Tiger Reserve was unseasonal. Also, the high temperature caused the fire to spread more quickly.

Recommendations:

  • Forest fire needs to be recognized as a type of disaster. At the same time, it also needs to be integrated into national, sub-national and local disaster management plans.
  • There is a need to develop a warning system related to forest fires. It will issue real time impact based warnings. Adaptability should be increased. Shelters with clean air should be created.

Source – The Hindu

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