Some dreadful images and videos of Uttarakhand forest fires flooded social media platforms from Tuesday.
Parag Madhukar Dhakate, the chief conservator of forests (CCF) for western circle in Uttarakhand, said there’s a lot of misinformation, old photos and fake news being circulated on social media. There is a reduction in fire and its been raining every few days so there is moisture and lesser incidents of forest fires, he said.
Dhakate posted a video on his twitter handle and shared the news. “No serious forest fires have been reported from the state,” he said.
“The photographs that doing the rounds on social media are from Chile and other places,” Madhukar said. “Uttarakhand forest department is monitoring the situation via satellites and the firefighters are controlling the isolated incidents of forest fires that have been reported. Currently, there are no serious incidents.”
Uttarakhand Forest Department declared about the incident in a statement on Facebook & twitter today simultaneously and pointed out that many of the photos were from older events, or other countries and are being falsely circulated over social media platforms.
Forest fires are often natural during dry seasons and help to regenerate forests. However, the uncontrollable fire incidents in recent years across Amazon, Australia and even in Karnataka’s Bandipur region had gutted thousands of hectares of forest. With the rising global temperatures, uncontrollable forest fires are always a threat. However, experts believe that the forest departments in India have been vigilant to combat such risk as and when they arise.
Many experts and social media influencers also took to twitter and expressed concerns over the misleading trend of #SaveTheHimalayas and #PrayForUttarakhand. Most of the images trending on social media platforms are from the 2016 Uttarakhand forest fires that affected more than 4,000 hectares (10,000 acres) of forest area in Uttarakhand.