What is the cause of the increase in the frequency of wildfires at the Bandipur Reserve?

Published: June 6, 2019

Wildfires have become a common occurrence at the Bandipur Forest Reserve which has alarmed the environmentalists about the long-term damage which the same can cause to the natural ecosystem of Nilgiri Hills. The latest in the series was caused by the failure of northeast monsoons which normally take place at the end of the year. So the thick growth in the area spurred by the normal rains in summers led to extreme brittleness and dryness of vegetation, thereby converting large tracks of the forest land into tinderboxes. Although it is felt that the fires were caused by some miscreants but they had spread rapidly due to dryness in vegetation and strong winds. Stretched spans of drought have often caused fires in Bandipur. The Forest Policy of India follows a no forest fire approach especially in case of protected landscapes. However, in many of these forests, there are many trees which are resistant to fire. Thus, primarily it is the natural build-up of biomass which leads to high-intensity fires.

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