Dehradun : Nearly 99 hectares of forest cover in Uttarakhand was affected by forest fires in the past five months , says the data from the forest department . The data shows a maximum 40.43 hectare area was gutted in Garhwal region , followed by 31.55 hectare in Kumaon region and 27.02 hectare gut ted in ‘ admin wildlife ‘ ( a category of protected forest area ) since November 2022 .
This has led to monetary loss worth Rs 4,65,920 , wherein a loss of Rs 3.66 lakh has been reported from Kumaon , Rs 89,000 in Garhwal and Rs 10,000 was recorded from admin wildlife .
In both Kumaon and Garhwal regions , almost two dozen fire incidents have taken place while a dozen such incidents have been reported in the protected forests . Across the state , the highest forest fire incidents were re corded from Almora forest division where 22.75 hectare area has burnt , followed by Govind Wildlife Sanctuary and Chakrata , where 15 hectare and 11 hectare area was affected by the wild fires respectively .
The cases of fire spiked during February when the hot weather added to the dryness of the al ready dry forest floor . ” The spike in wildfires was observed from February as the temperature hovered at least 6 to 7 degrees above normal , ” said the frontline forest staff deployed in Dehra dun forest division .
Meanwhile , Maheshanand Kuniyal , sarpanch of Sarkot Van Panchayat in Chamoli , had tendered resignation from his post after some anti forest elements tried to burn the forests thrice in the past ten days . ” It was sheer politics due to which this happened here and the administration is yet to take a decision on my resignation , ” said Kuniyal . In Pauri , cops have registered a complaint against unknown people for causing fire in the forests .
Amid the spiked fire incidents across the state , the silver lining was that there were no casualties among the villagers or the frontline staff of forest department , nor was any live stock hurt , according to the forest department .