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.
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