Forest Fire in Uttarakhand: Causes, Consequences and Remedial Measures

G. C.S. Negi

Abstract


Fire is one of the major causes of forest degradation in India, and has wide ranging adverse ecological, economic and social impacts. In Uttarakhand, Chir Pine (Pinus roxburghii) forests spread over appx. 16% of total forest area (between 1000 and 1800 m asl) are particularly prone to forest fire (FF) due to resin-rich leaf litter accumulation on the forest floor during summer. Year 2016 (April- early June), witnessed a major Forest fire in the Chir Pine forests of Uttarakhand registering a total of 2069 Forest fire incidents affecting 4423 ha forests. This outrage of forest fire in Uttarakhand concerned everyone across the country, and to save the forests large scale efforts were made. Even National Disaster Response Force and helicopters had to be engaged in putting out forest fire. This article is a follow-up of a visit of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment & Forests, Govt. of India to Uttarakhand (6-7 June, 2016) in the aftermath of Forest fire, and provides an overview of forest fire in Uttarakhand, its causes and consequences, and suggests some remedial measures.

Keywords


Chir Pine (Pinus roxburghii) Forests; Loss of Forest Wealth; People's Participation; Western Himalaya

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