Fire wood

CONFUSION prevails over the actual extent of forests destroyed in the recent forest fires in the northern regions of the country, as the data provided by the ministCy of environment and forests and that received through satellite imagery stand at variance. While the latest figures with the ministry estimate a total loss of 931 square kilometres (sq km) in Uttar Pradesh and 305 sq krn in Himachal Pradesh, satellite imagery puts the area affected at 2,115 sq km in Uttar Pradesh alone.

Explaining the discrepancy, a ministry official stated that the fire this time was a ground level one, unlike a crown fire which creates more damage. Further, large tracts of grasslands which were burnt had also been included in the category of fire- affected forests by the remote sensing satellite.