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Himachal Pradesh forest fire UPSC NOTE

 Forest fire

  • A prolonged dry spell and unusually high temperatures across Himachal Pradesh in the past month have triggered several wildfires that have destroyed hectares of forest cover and damaged biodiversity and the forest ecosystem.

  • The government data show as many as 1,318 forest fire outbreaks have been reported across the State this year.

  • The average maximum and minimum temperatures have been hovering appreciably above normal in Himachal Pradesh since May

  • The temperature, coupled with dry spells, poses a big challenge for the State government to control the forest fires

  • However, with dry weather conditions and warm temperatures expected to abate in the days to come, there is hope that the outbreaks will abate.

  • As the forest fires rage, relief is expected as a fresh western disturbance is expected to approach the State 

What is Western disturbance

  • Western disturbances are storms that originate in the Caspian or Mediterranean Sea, and bring non-monsoonal rainfall to northwest India, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

  • They are labelled as an extra-tropical storm originating in the Mediterranean, is an area of low pressure that brings sudden showers, snow and fog in northwest India.

  • The disturbance travels from the “western” to the eastern direction.

  • These travel eastwards on high-altitude westerly jet streams - massive ribbons of fast winds traversing the earth from west to east.

  • Disturbance means an area of reduced air pressure.

  • Equilibrium exists in nature due to which the air in a region tries to normalise its pressure.

  • As the WD originates outside the tropical region, the word “extra-tropical” has been associated with them.

  • A WD is associated with rainfall, snowfall and fog in northern India. 

Its effect in India

  • The moisture which WDs carry with them comes from the Mediterranean Sea and/or from the Atlantic Ocean.

  • WD brings winter and pre-monsoon rain and is important for the development of the Rabi crop in the Northern subcontinent.

  • The WDs are not always the harbingers of good weather. 

  • Sometimes WDs can cause extreme weather events like floods, flash floods, landslides, dust storms, hail storms and cold waves killing people, destroying infrastructure and impacting livelihoods.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Himachal Pradesh forest fire UPSC NOTE
Himachal Pradesh forest fire UPSC NOTE
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