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Wildfire breakout in Goa

A forest department probe into the bushfires that impacted an area of about 4 sq km in Goa in March concluded that the fires...

Context: A forest department probe into the bushfires that impacted an area of about 4 sq km in Goa in March concluded that the fires were largely triggered by natural causes.

  • 74 fire incidents were reported in the first fortnight of March, out of which 32 fires affected 3 wildlife sanctuaries.
  • The inquiry report suggests that a conducive environment and extreme weather conditions like deficient rainfall in the preceding season, unusually high temperatures, low moisture and humidity led to the fires.
  • Conclusion – Prolonged dry spell, unprecedented high temperatures, and low humidity caused sporadic fire incidents in Goa.
  • Pattern – Incidents of forest fires in Goa during the summer have been more in the years following those of poor monsoon rain.
  •  A similar pattern has been seen in Karnataka as well.
  • Surface fires are common in moist deciduous forests of Goa but Goa does not experience crown fires which is caused by friction of trees.

An FSI study for the period 2004-21 has found that nearly 10.66% area under forests in India is ‘extremely’ to ‘very highly’ fire-prone.

Forest Fires
  • Wildfire is also called forest, bush or vegetation fire.
  • It can be described as any uncontrolled and non-prescribed combustion or burning of plants in a natural setting such as a forest, grassland, brush land or tundra.
  • Wildfire can be incited by human actions, such as land clearing, extreme drought or in rare cases by lightning
Types – There are 3 basic types of wildfires:
  • Crown fires burn trees up their entire length to the top. These are the most intense and dangerous wildland fires.
  • Surface fires burn only surface litter and duff. These are the easiest fires to put out and cause the least damage to the forest.
  • Ground fires (underground or subsurface fires) occur in deep accumulations of humus, peat and similar dead vegetation that become dry enough to burn. – Very difficult to fully put out.

Read Also: Kushiyara River Treaty

Wildfire breakout,Wildfire breakout

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