April 30th, 2016 | Updated on September 17th, 2021
“This is a National emergency. The forests of Uttarakhand have been burning for over a week now, with no media coverage what so ever. The fires are engulfing thousands of hectares of forest, destroying wild life and killing trees in 100s of thousands, the toll is estimated to be in 10s of crores, and higher,” crying hoarse Ela Smetacek on Facebook and nobody is listening to her clarion call.
” We want the media to bring this terrible illicit project that has, according to locals, been carefully orchestrated by timber and land mafia. Villagers are paid to set fire to forests and once it goes out the unburned parts are strangely reset till it is all burnt”
Talking about the importance of hills for Delhi NCR, she further writes, ” The hills are the only natural Oxygen lung for cities like Delhi NCR, and their destruction will dry up the rivers and have an terrible effect on the fate of India. When trees die, ground water evaporates. A barren, burnt land is what is left of many mountains where last week, there stood a beautiful forest. News from Nainital, Bhimtal, Sattal, Almora coming in, eye witnesses sending pictures to us and all of them are saying the same thing!! The fires aren’t being contained!!!”
Ela wanted immediate actions against this callous negligence on the part of government authorities.
“We want the law to take note;
1. Stop the fires, immediately deploy army to fight the fires and contain them from spreading.
2. Start a fast court and arrest all people engaged in setting fires.
3. Ban burning of private land adjoining forests
4. Stop the selling of any forest timber, by forest department and local Van Panchayats
5. Set up wild life rehabilitation teams to address the injured wildlife.”
Scroll Down To Look At Her Facebook Post:
Since Facebook is abuzz with the news of this ecological disaster in Uttarakhand, media, of late, has started reporting the forests fire in the state.
Fire broke out across 1600 ha of forest area in Uttarakhand, 1500 villages in Kumaon & Garhwal division under threat pic.twitter.com/P4ZB3ikcEu
— ANI (@ANI_news) April 29, 2016
The period between February and June is considered to be the “fire season” but this sort of human-induced forests burning at the behest of timber and land mafia is bringing disaster not only to Uttarakhand but also to all the adjoining states. A fortnight ago, the TOI reported, ” at least 18 incidents of wildfire came to the fore from the region since the onset of February. The inferno has affected 45.85 hectares of forest land in the region till April 12.”
Across the globe, these human-induced fires have contributed to drastic reductions in the populations of 60 species of vascular plants, ten fungi, eight lichens and six species of mosses during the past two or three decades.
In forests where fire is not a natural disturbance, it can have devastating impacts on forest vertebrates and invertebrates – not only killing them directly, but also leading to longer-term indirect effects such as stress and loss of habitat, territories, shelter and food. The loss of key organisms in forest ecosystems, such as invertebrates, pollinators and decomposers, can significantly slow the recovery rate of the forest.
Watch Out 25 Most Destructive Wildfires Ever Recorded In History:
Stop this human-induced forest burning to save the mother earth!