Forest fires threatening Odisha’s flora and fauna

  1. As per statistics generated by SNPP (Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership) satellite, there has been an increase in forest fires in Odisha. The SNPP is a weather satellite operated by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  2. The National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), India defines forest fire as an unclosed and freely spreading fire that consumes the natural fuels. Forest fires can be caused by both natural (e.g. Lightning) and anthropogenic factors (e.g. negligent use of fire, shifting cultivation etc.)
  3. In 2017, Forest Fire Prevention & Management Scheme was put forward. The main objectives of the scheme are: a) Minimise forest fire incidences and help in restoring productivity of forests in affected areas, b) Encourage partnership with forest fringe communities for forest protection, c) Prepare fire danger rating system and devise forest fire forecasting system.
  4. Forest Survey of India (FSI) has developed Pre Warning Alert System. It gives alerts to state forest departments based on parameters like forest cover, forest types, climatic variables (temperature, rainfall) and recent fire incidences over the area. Recently FSI has also launched Forest Fire Geo Portal.