Spurt in forest fires in Odisha
With temperatures regularly breaching the 40 degrees Celsius mark in Odisha for the past couple of days, the State has witnessed a sudden spurt in forest fires. Slow trickling down of information, and restrictions on movement due to the COVID-19 lockdown, have made matters worse.
According to the Forest Survey of India’s (FSI), fire alerts issued on the basis of the SNPP (Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership)-VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) sensor, which has a better resolution, as many as 604 fire spots have been detected in Odisha in the first four weeks of last month (March 1 to 28). But, in the five days from March 29 to April 2, the total number fire spots detected shot up to 620.
Since the second week of March, the number of forest fires in Odisha has been steadily increasing from 144 in the second week to 157 in the third week to 263 in the fourth.