Extreme weather is slowly becoming the new normal. If any one needed evidence, the past couple of months are proving beyond doubt that extreme weather events like floods, hurricanes and heatwaves are increasing in number all around us. In India, considered a highly vulnerable nation to climate change, the impacts are severe and affect millions of people every year. One of the oft overlooked consequences of climate change are forest fires. Engulfing thousands of hectares of forests, they lead to high loss of biodiversity and in many places, destroy indispensable source of livelihood.
Warmer temperatures and drier climates make a perfect recipe for forest fires and global warming is sustaining such conditions in some of the worlds most important forests. In the northern state of Uttarakhand in India, forest fires have been raging relentlessly for the past few years. In the last decade, oak trees have been replaced by dry pines that are susceptible to fires and increasing mono culture is now causing greater damage than profits that the Govt. had originally planned for.