Heat, aridity, clear skies: why forests are already ablaze in the Nilgiris

Syllabus: GS-I, Subject: Geography, Topic: Geo-physical Phenomenon, Issue: Forest fires

Context: Forest fires in Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu

India’s vulnerability to forest fire:

  • November to June is considered the forest fire season in India.
  • Over 36% of India’s forest cover is prone to frequent fires.(ISFR-2019)
  • Approximately 4% of forest cover is ‘extremely prone’ to fire, while another 6% is ‘very highly’ fire prone.

Factors responsible for forest fire:

  • Natural: Hot and dry temperatures, high tree density, and conducive weather conditions.
  • Human carelessness such as discarded cigarettes or natural causes like lightning strikes.

This year, high aridity, above-normal day temperatures, clear skies, and calm winds in southern India have led to a spike in forest fire incidents.

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