Major causes of Forest fires:

Major causes of Forest fires:

  • Forest fires can occur because of both natural and man-made causes.
  • Man-made causes contribute to 99% of forest fires in India. They are:
    • Attempts to encroach upon forest lands to convert them into agricultural land.
    • Fire caused by poachers and timber smugglers to destroy evidence of illegal activities.
    • Burning of waste in illegal dumps.
    • Shifting cultivation practice by the locals.
    • Tourist activities like camp-fire etc.

What needs to be done?

  • Better monitoring of reserve forest areas.
  • Keeping a close watch on fire-prone spots.
  • Increase the current staff strength and train them according to the needs of the terrain.

Impact of Forest Fires:

  • Loss of life.
  • Changes to wildlife habitats.
  • Fire changes the proportion, arrangement and characteristic of habitats across the landscape.
  • Temporary loss of food and shelter causes displacement of territorial birds and mammals, upsetting the ecological balance.
Section : Environment & Ecology