WHY THE HILLS ARE BURNING
India Today|April 26, 2021
In the first week of April, India hosted US special presidential envoy for climate, John Kerry, in New Delhi as a precursor to the Leaders’ Summit with President Joe Biden later this month and COP-26 (the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference) in November.
Anilesh S. Mahajan

Around the same time, barely 300 km away in hill state Uttarakhand’s capital Dehradun, chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat was huddled in an emergency meeting to deal with the spreading forest fire in the state. His state, along with neighbouring hill state Himachal Pradesh, is witnessing unprecedented wildfires. The situation is getting worse by the day as the region has had a prolonged dry spell, leaving the forest floor “tinder dry”.

Uttarakhand and Himachal see the most forest fires in India every year. The Forest Survey of India (FSI) has identified the woodlands along the south, west and southwest regions of Uttarakhand— including Dehradun, Hardwar, Garhwal, Almora, Nainital, Udham Singh Nagar and Champawat districts— as the most vulnerable in terms of the frequency and intensity of wildfires. This year, Nainital, Almora, Tehri and Pauri districts have been the worst hit.

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