Early summer, lack of rain spark fires

Forest fires are raging in lots of elements of the nation because the mercury spikes and there’s a giant rain deficiency besides in elements of peninsular India, resulting in an sooner than standard onset of the hearth season, senior officers of the Forest Survey of India stated on Saturday.

According to Forest Survey of India’s forest hearth alert system, there have been 2,317 hearth factors final year between February 26 and March 7, however the determine rose to 53,211 this time after knowledge from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) was taken under consideration.

When knowledge from the MODIS satellite tv for pc is taken into account, there have been 627 hearth factors final year throughout the identical interval whereas there are 6295 hearth factors this year. In the previous seven days, Odisha alone recorded practically 18,000 hearth factors as per SNPP adopted by round 5000 fires in Telangana; round 4,500 fires in Jharkhand and 4300 in Madhya Pradesh.

“We depend on two satellites for fire data. SNPP collects forest fires at 375 metres resolution so even small fires are picked up. There could be many factors contributing to increased forest fires — one of them is fuel load. Whether forests have been cleared of dry twigs, branches, etc will have to be seen. Other important factors are soil moisture and heat, which help fires ignite quickly. In 2013, we did an assessment of the worst fire periods. It’s normally May which is also the hottest month in many states. But this year we may see a spike in April, also depending on temperatures,” stated Sunil Chandra, deputy director, forest geoinformatics division.

“The reasons for forest fires can be different in different states. Local factors are also important. This year and last year there has been a very high number of forest fires in Uttarakhand, also starting in October and November and resuming again from February. Not only fuel load, the topography in Uttarakhand also makes it prone to spread of fires,” added Chandra. The FSI’s knowledge reveals forest fires began spiking from January this year peaking dramatically in March.

According to an announcement by India Meteorological Department on Friday, most temperatures are between 37 to 39 diploma C over most locations in West, Central, East and Southern Peninsula. The highest most temperature of 40.4 diploma C was recorded at Bhubaneshwar in Odisha on Saturday. On Friday the best most temperature was recorded at Bhuj-Rudramata (Saurashtra & Kutch) at 40 levels C. The highest most temperatures had been recorded at Brahmapuri (Vidarbha) at 39.8 levels C, adopted by Kothagudem (Telangana) at 39.5 levels C and Chandrapur (Vidarbha) at 39.2 levels C on Thursday.

The IMD’s local weather abstract for February confirmed rainfall over the nation as a complete for the month was 7.6mm, 68% lower than its Long Period Average (LPA) of 23.5mm making it the sixth lowest since 1901. In February, Odisha recorded 83% rain deficiency, Uttarakhand 71%, West Madhya Pradesh 68%, and Telangana 74%, amongst others. There was 72% rain deficiency within the nation between March 1 and 6.

“Generally, when there is a dry period for a long time and temperatures are high, forest fires increase. They can, however, be triggered by human activity also. We are expecting some rain in the extreme northern parts of the country in the next few days and in some parts down south due to easterly activity. There is also a possibility of rain in the north-eastern states as we enter the pre-monsoon season. But I don’t see a possibility of rain in Odisha or other central parts unless a low-pressure area or other weather systems develop,” stated DS Pai, local weather scientist at IMD Pune.

Indian summer time or what the India Meteorological Department calls “pre-monsoon season” in March-April-May has seen a really clear shift in its depth since 1998. Long-term knowledge from 1971 onwards suggests a shift to significantly hotter than regular summers since 1998 and greater than doubling of lethal heatwave occasions as per the IMD’s evaluation.

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