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सेमिनार: अंग्रेज़ी सीखने का अवसर (23 सितंबर: दोपहर 3 बजे)
Q. Uttarakhand forest fire: in the background of recent forest fire in Uttarakhand, outline the issues associated with forest fire in India.
May 05, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-3 and 1

Ans :


Recently the hilly state Uttarakhand has witnessed heavy forest fire. Due to fire several persons killed, about 2,269 hectares of forested land destroyed and it damaged flora and fauna of the reason seriously.


Forest fires are not uncommon in India, since 1984 the forests in western Himalaya witnessed fire in every summer. Out of 1600 devastating fires recorded so far, Uttarakhand alone accounts for over 1,200 of them. Over the years, the regular fires has damaged forests severally and also changed the composition of forests. Accidental, natural and intentional reasons are attributed for these regular fires.

Possible reasons for forest fires in India-

  • Forest fires can happen due to natural reasons like Poor rainfall, extreme dryness, climate change etc. Chir pine trees that are prone to catching fire and it accounts good amount of share in western Himalayan forests.

  • In 1981 government has banned the felling of green trees over 1,000 metres above sea-level. It caused the deliberate torching of forests by timber mafias to grab partially burnt wood and also by builder mafias to grab vacated forest lands.

  • Careless acts like throwing match sticks, burning cigarettes by growing human population in hilly areas also caused fire many times. Also some misguided elements also occasionally set forests on fire in the hope that it would lead to better and improved grass and vegetative cover to meet their need for fodder and fuel.

  • Most Indian forests, especially in the hills, have power transmission lines passing through them, which can produce sparks to trigger flames.

  • Even poachers to bring out wild animals to the periphery of the forests and strained relations between the forest-dependent population and forest guards over secondary forest produce prompted to set forest on fire.


Regular forest fires have ruined the fragile ecosystem and destroyed forest wealth. These fires extensively damaged the plant and animal biodiversity due to which many valuable species have been wiped out. Fires also pollute the rivers passing through the reason. Also due to regular fires there is growing fear that the rate of melting of Himalayan glaciers may increase.


To build the healthy relationship between the forest-dependent population and forest guards the concept of joint forest management has to be strengthened. All the measures to avoid accidental fires should be implemented strictly. Timber, builder and poacher mafia should be handled with iron fist.

As chir pines are more prone to fire, hence gradual replacement of monoculture pines or inclusion of broad-leaved species in pine forests could be developed. Authorities should be made effectively prepared to face such disasters that they can at least reduce the damage. Vital measures like creation of fire-lines or buffer-belts to contain the spread of fires should be taken more seriously.


In the present time climate change is posing serious threat for existence of human beings, hence to contain the climate change we need to protect our flora and fauna. Various strict measures with joint forest management we can contain forest fire to some extent if not completely.

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