Yesterday social media was full of old, misleading photos of wildfires from all over the world, falsely claiming severe wildfire in Uttarakhand. The state govt, including the chief minister himself, had clarified that most of the photographs shared on social media were from foreign countries, and few photographs were from Uttarakhand but from past, not the current year.
Today, the state’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Jai Raj has clarified that such forest fire where the entire tree is burning does not happen in Uttarakhand. Such kind of wildfire occurs in foreign countries like the USA, Canada and Australia. Here forest fires remain confined to the ground, affecting grass and bushes.
Jai Raj furthered that the State’s forest department’s website regularly updates information on forest fires. Therefore people should not fall for such rumours.
He informed that as of now the wildfire in the state has affected 111 hectares, causing loss of Rs 3 Lakhs. He further said that the department will be filing a Police complaint against those spreading rumours on social media.
Such fires don’t occur in Uttarakhand. Here forest fires remain confined to ground, affecting grass&bushes. In monsoon,everything goes back to normal. So far,fire has affected 111 hectares,causing loss of Rs 3 Lakhs. We’ll file Police complaint against such rumours: Jai Raj(27.5) https://t.co/MC0MOBXedV— ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2020
Old photos from all over the world used to falsely claim severe wildfire in Uttarakhand
Some horrific photos and videos of wildfires claiming to be that of Uttarakhand flooded Twitter on Wednesday. Netizens took to Twitter to share some gut-wrenching photos of the devastating effects of the wildfires that are taking over the region. These pictures were also shared by many tourism adventure groups on social media.
These images shared on social media sites soon drew traction and many media houses reported that Uttarakhand has been burning in a forest fire for the last four days. According to these reports, as many as 46 such forest fires which have affected over 51.34 hectares of forest land have been raging in the hill state of Uttarakhand over the last four days.
State’s CM and police rebut these claims
However, the Uttarakhand police and Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat took to Twitter yesterday to confirm that the pictures being shared on social media were false. Trivendra Singh Rawat also called out the propaganda machinery, who tried to pass off old 2016 and 2019 images, that too of forest fires in Chilean and Chinese forests as recent ones in Uttarakhand, to instil fear amongst people.
Meanwhile, Uttarakhand police said it would look into the matter and an FIR against concerned persons involved in spreading the false news will be lodged soon.