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Forest Fires Claims on Social Media in Uttarakhand False, says Officials

Garsha Sai Nitesh
Garsha Sai Nitesh

As social media is flooded with posts claiming forest fires in Uttarakhand officials of the concerned department say all such claims are false, the first fire in Uttarakhand isn’t severe as compared to last year. 

In the last five days, fire incidents have affected 81 hectares causing damages worth Rs 2.19 lakh according to the state forest department. 

“Old photos of forest fires which are shared on social media are from chile and other past incidents happened, we are tracking small incidents happening through satellite images and situation is controlled,” said Dr Parag Madhukar, Conservator, Forest Department. 

In the last few days, social media is flooded with posts of forest fire incidents claiming to be of Uttarakhand. Misleading is prevailing on social media where photos of entire trees burning can be seen said Uttarakhand Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Jai Raj to ANI. 

“Fires incidents at such scale doesn’t occur in Uttarakhand. Fires here remain confined to the ground mostly affecting grass and bushes. Incoming monsoon everything will get back to normal. So far fires in state have affected around 111 hectares causing loss of Rs 3 Lakhs. We will be filing a Police complaint against such spreading rumors” he said. 

Posts shared on social media claimed massive forest fires have damaged parts of the forest in hilly areas and alleged proper media attention was not given to this situation. Some posts even claimed half of the Indian bird species are in danger due to the fire. 

Raj added last year we lost 1,200 hectares in massive forest fire incidents in the state, comparing it to the present situation not even 100 hectares are affected properly till now. 

This summer weather is normal compared to last year but rapid rising temperatures in the last few days triggered some incidents of fire. We are doing our best to control the situation along with my team and rains are forecasted in the coming days which can solve the issue. 

Fact-checkers found photos shared on the Internet are incidents that happened in other countries even PIB Uttarakhand tweeted refuting the claims of forest fires. 

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