Satellite images have come up showing the scale of damage caused by Uttarakhand forest fires that have been raging for last 90 days in India. These LANDSAT images from April 29 show the amount of damage that has been caused to environment due to forest fires in the hill state. It shows that the smoke is settling at various places. This happens because in the hilly regions winds usually are light and smoke does not drift away.
Each circle is of an area of about 100 to 500 metres. These high resolution images show how spot fires have occurred over several areas.
Some experts have suggested poor rainfall, El Nino and climate warming as causes of the fires. Some have pointed fingers at miscreants.
In terms of the incidences of forest fires, this year is particularly bad. According to data from the Environment Ministry, a total of 18,451 incidents of forest fires were reported from across the country in 2013, compared with 19,054 in 2014 and 15,937 in 2015. This year has seen a jump, with at least 20,667 fires already reported as on April 21.
The fire has caused immense damage to life and property in Uttarakhand with a few experts suggesting that its repercussion might be seen in early glacier melting. Others have argued that as ozone layer is being greatly affected due to fires which are equivalent of several metros put together.