‘India records highest number of forest-fire alerts in three years’

New Delhi, July 30: India recorded 3,45,989 forest-fire alerts between November 2020 and June 2021, highest in the last three years and almost triple the number of alerts generated during the same period the previous year, the Centre told Parliament on Friday.
In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Environment Ashwini Choubey said 3,45,989 forest-fire alerts were sent by the Forest Survey of India (FSI) using SNPP-VIIRS sensors (including large, continuous and repeated forest fires) between November 2020 and June 2021.
According to the details shared by the minister, the number of forest-fire alerts between November 2019 and June 2020 was 1,24,473 and between November 2018 and June 2019, the country recorded 2,10,286 such alerts. “The number of incidents of forest fire in the country varies from year to year depending on various natural and anthropogenic reasons. Forest fires do occur every year during summer due to various natural and anthropogenic reasons, including accumulation of inflammable materials such as dry leaves, twigs, pine needles etc.
“These factors have also been highlighted in a joint study by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the World Bank. Most of the forest fires in the country are ground fires in which ground vegetation etc. get burnt. The Forest Survey of India (FSI) sends forest-fire alerts to all registered users on the alert system,” Choubey told the Lower House of Parliament.
According to the figures, Odisha recorded the highest number of forest-fire alerts at 51,968, followed by Madhya Pradesh (47,795) and Chhattisgarh (38,106) between November 2020 and June 2021.
There was a steep rise from last year in the number of forest-fire alerts generated in these three states. While Odisha recorded 10,602 alerts between November 2019 and June 2020, Madhya Pradesh recorded 9,537 in the same period and Chhattisgarh 6,360.
The data showed that Delhi recorded only 14 forest-fire alerts this year, down from last year’s 21.
The minister also said the responsibility of forest-fire prevention and management lies primarily with the respective state and the ministry supports the efforts of the states and Union territories in preventing and controlling forest fire by providing financial assistance for various measures. (PTI)

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