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  • 14 July, 2020

  • 3 Min Read

Forest Fires in India

Forest Fires in India

According to the report of the Forest Survey of India, between 2003–2017, a total of 5,20,861 active forest fire events were detected in India. About 54% of the forest cover in India is exposed to occasional fire.

Most fire-prone regions - Northeast India, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Western Himalayas have shown a sharp increase in carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and ozone during high fire activity periods.

The occurrence of high fire intensity in the low-altitude Himalayan hilly regions may be due to the plant species (pine trees) in the area and their proximity to villages. Villages make them more susceptible to anthropogenic activities like forest cover clearance, grazing and so on. The sharp increase in average and maximum air temperature, decline in precipitation, and change in land-use patterns have caused the increased episodes of forest fires in most Asian countries.

Burn Indices

The Normalized Burn Ratio is an effective burn index commonly used to identify burnt regions in large fire zones.

In normal conditions, healthy vegetation exhibits a very high reflectance in the near-infrared spectral region and considerably low reflectance in the shortwave infrared spectral region. These conditions get dismantled and reversed if a fire occurs.

Remote Sensing Burn Indices - The spectral differences between healthy vegetation and burnt forest areas can easily be identified and highlighted by remote sensing burn indices. Remote sensing-based models measure primary productivity over an area and also looked at burn indices, which help to demarcate the forest fire burn scars using satellite imagery. It can be a promising tool for land resource managers and fire officials.

Source: PIB

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