Nature of forest fires in Uttarakhand: frequency, size and seasonal patterns in relation to pre-monsoonal environment

Man-made forest fires in the traditionally populated zone (about 800–2000 m altitude) are common in much of the Central Himalaya, and are a major topic of environmental debate. This study based on an analysis of data of the State Forest Department at Uttarakhand on incidence of forest fires shows that these are high-frequency, low-severity surface fires of small size, largely determined by the moisture conditions of the pre-monsoon season (from March to mid-June), and the traditional practices of biomass collection by local people.

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