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DISASTER
MANAGEMENT : AN
ASSESSMENT OF
FOREST FIRE
MANAGEMENT IN
HIMACHAL
PRADESH

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Introduction

Man has been facing natural and Man-Made disasters since the dawn of civilization. But to
regard that disasters affect only the man would be too narrow approach to understand the
very concept of disaster and disaster management. A very basic approach to study the
origin, classification, effects and management of disasters should be to understand the
concept of biosphere as an ecosystem. The biosphere as a part of earth which contains the
living organisms and is biologically the inhabitable part of soil, air and water. The
biosphere consists of all the living organisms and the physical environment in a continuous
and balanced interaction with each other. These continuous and balanced interactions may
be at times disturbed by either sudden or long term causes which lead to the origin of
disasters which affect all the components of the ecosystem ^

The word 'disaster' incorporates a variety of events, natural or man-made, that cause
injury, loss of life or damage to property, livelihood or environment. According to the
TJnited Nations', disaster may be defined as "the occurrence of a sudden or major
misfortune which the basis fabric and normal functioning of a society. It is an event or a
series of events which gives rise to casualties, or damage pr loss of property, infrastructure,
essential

Dr. Anurag Singh, "Disasters and India's Specific preparedness in their Management with
Special Emphasis on Earthquakes", Chanakya Civil Service Today, January 2008,

services or means of livelihood on a scale that is beyond the normal capacity of the affected
communities to cope with unaided.

Definitions

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Different writers have defined disaster in their different views. S. Narayan (2000) quoted
disaster as a calamity which is suddenly thurst either by nature or by man himself. It blows
out dismantles and smash all the way of life. In the twentieth century of anything has brow
beaten mankind quite often it is disaster-disaster of every kind^, R. B. Singh (2000) has
defined disaster in this way that there are two types of disaster natural or man-made. They
are the new constraints to development and a threat to our environment. They undermine
development efforts and cause loss of life and scarce resources, reduction of productivity
and environmental degradation^. United Nations Disaster Reduction Organisations defines
a disaster more qualitatively as "an event concentrating in time and space in which a
community undergoes severe danger incurs such losses to its members and physical
appurtenances that the social structure is disrupted'*. P.C. Sinha (1999) described disaster
as "a state of emergency", A state of emergency develops when the sudden increase in the
variety, frequency, magnitude and in the intensity of problems^.

caused by the forces of nature and man-made disasters such as epidemics, wars, pollution,
environmental degradation, terrorism and forest-fires, which result from the undesirable
activities of men. A third class of disasters can still be identified which result from the
combined action of natural and man-made activities. The best example in this regard would
be the occurrence of floods, droughts and forest fires. They are mainly natural disasters but
they are forced by human interference to occur.

Concept of Disaster Management

"Disaster Management" is one of the front running themes among contemporary global
issues. Disaster control and mitigation measures have been gradually attaining a level
where it could be called a subject to be extensively practiced. Disaster management covers
a wide range of activities such as "Preparedness or advance planning, rescue, relief and
rehabilitation"^.

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'Disaster Management' mean immediate rescue, relief and rehabilitation and


reconstruction measure because the victims are shocked to show patience in their pitiable
plight. Disaster Management includes planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating
reporting and budgeting functions before the disaster attacks and rescue, relief and
rehabilitation work after the disaster attacks. It also needs proper leadership, information
technology, researches and development and time management, responsibility
management, risk management, performance management, strategic management,
financial management, communication

N.Chaturvedi & Shanta Kohli, "Social Administration Development & Change", Time Press
1980 p5.

management, human . management and knowledge management too^.

Disaster Management has within it, the ^seeds of welfare and development administration.
It is a goal oriented, imaginative, resilient, innovative, adaptive and responsive to the
changing requirement of the situation. Hence, the disaster management or management is
an important term. While defining the management it can be said that every activity which
we undertake an element that bring coordination or co-hesiveness in the activity without
this any act would be ineffective or stumbling perhaps random and unproductive. It is the
management which makes the organisation effective through adapting new approach from
top to bottom and from bottom to top that is 'disaster management' and frequency of their
occurrence increase due to the undesirable human activities.

Disaster can also be classified on the basis of their effects into catastrophes having
maximum destructive effects and minor disasters having less destructive effects. Another
basis for their classification may be the time and duration of their occurrence^.

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The unwanted events happen regularly over the crust and surface of this planet. Man has
entered in the new millennium with great hope and celebrations, but finds himself under
severe strain and feels comipelled to setup and reasses his environment, nature, culture
and future, "consumption for today and conservation for tomorrow" has become the slogan
of mankind all over the world. The enemy of our environment is within each one because
each one want more and more at the expense of nature. The new concepts like global
warming and global warming and global cooling

Source: HDRO Calculations Based on OFDA 2007

Rich countries have registered a mounting roll-call of climate change or disasters. During
2003, Europe was hit by the most intense heat wave in more than 50 years - an event that
caused thousands of deaths among the elderly and other vulnerable people. A year later,
Japan was hit by more tropical cyclones than in any other years over the previous
countries. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina, one event in the worst Atlantic hurricane season on
record, provided a devastating reminder that even the world's richest nations are not
immune to climate disasters. While climate disasters are affecting more and more people
across the world, the overwhelming majority lives in developing countries, for the period
2000-2004, on an average annual basis one in 19 people living in the developing world was
affected by a climate disaster^.

Here are the examples of some disasters after 2000-

• 2007 monsoon period in East Asia displaced 3 million people in China.

• Monsoon floods and storms in South Asia during the 2007 season displaced more
than 14 million people in India and 7 million people in Bangladesh. Over 1000 people lost
their lives across Bangladesh, India and Southern Nepal and Pakistan.

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• In 2006-07 cyclone season in East Asia which saw large areas of Jakarta flooded
displaced 4,30,000 people. Hurricane Durian causing mudslides and extensive loss of life in
the Philippines, followed by widespread storm damage in Vietnam.

• In terms of overall activity, the 2005 drought in the Horn of Africa threatened the
lives of over 14 million people across a swathe of countries from Ethiopia and Kenya to
Malawi and Zimbabwe, in the following years drought gave way to extensive following of
many of the some countries.

• Floods in Bihar in 2008 are the example of great havoc in India.

The world is heading towards unprecedented losses of biodiversity and the collapse of
ecological systems during the 21st century losses of ecosystems and biodiversity are
intrinsically bad for human development. The loss of mangrove swamps, coral reef
systems, forests and wetlands is highlighted as a major concern. Yet climate disasters are
heavily concentrated in poor countries some 262 million people were affected by climate
disaster annually from 2000 to 2004, over 98 percent of them in the developing world.

The forests play a crucial role in the lives of millions of poor people who rely on them for
food, fuel and income. And tropical forests are sites of rich biodiversity. The challenge for
international co-operation is to find ways of unlocking the triple benefits for climate
mitigation, people and biodiversity that could be generated through the conservation of
forests.

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Governments are not currently meeting the challenge the facts on deforestation tell their
own story between 2000 and 2005, net forest loss world wide averaged 73 thousand km^.
An area of the size of a country like Chile rainforests are currently shrinking at about 5
percent in year. Every hectare lost adds to green house gas emissions. While forests vary in
the amount of carbon that they store, pristine rainforest can store around 500 tonnes of
CO2 per hectare.

Between 1990 and 2005, shrinkage of the global forest estate is estimated to have added
around 4G+ to the Earth's atmosphere each year if the worlds forests were a country, that
country would be one of the top emitters on one estimate, deforestation, beat land
degradation and forest fires have made Indonesia the third large source of green house gas
emissions in the world. Deforestation in the Amazon region is another of the great sources
of global emissions. The world is losing immense opportunities for carbon mitigation
through forest conversion. Countries are losing assets that could have a real value in terms
of carbon finance. And people depending on forests for their livelihoods are losing out to
economic activities operating on the basis of a false economy. Viewed in narrow
commercial terms, deforestion makes sense only because markets attach no value to
carbon repositories. In ei'fect, standing tress are obstacles to the collection of money dying
on the ground. While national circumstances vary. In many countries most of that money is
appropriated by large scale farmers, ranchers and illegal loggers.

Importance of forests

The importance of forests in the developmental activities of rural India may be summarized
as follows:

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1. Forests are a powerful ecological unit affecting environment and are among the
most natural and renewable resources. They render the climate more equitable. The forests
help to prevent soil erosion and facilitate rainfall. This emphasizes the importance of
preserving an adequate proportion of the land area under forests in the interests of
agricultural development.

2. The contribution of forestry together with logging, to the national income in 1983-
84 was Rs. 1,758 crores constituting 1.1. percent of the total net domestic product.

3. Forests in India provide fodder for more than 300 million livestock.

4. It is estimated that 3.1 million workers of about 0.2 percent of the total work force
in the country are working in the forestry sector. Forests provide full time employment for
some and part time work for many.

5. They are also the homes of tribal people, numbering about 25 lakhs.

6. Forests provide raw material for industries like soul mills, match, plywood, paper,
pencil-making etc.

7. They provide major and minor products, the major products being fiber, timber fire
wood, charcoal and minor products being bamboos, canes, drugs, spices, fodder, gums,
rubber, lady fruits, honey etc.

8. Forests are an important source of revenue to the government. It is estimated that


annually an amount of about Rs. 500 crores is derived from the sale of forest

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9. Forests have an employment generation potential through

(a) Production forestry (b) Social forestry (c) Minor forests produce (d) Forest
industries and (e) Forest department.

10. Forests are important for maintaining ecological balance through preservation of
wild life and biodiversity i°.

Participatory Forest Management has been the focal point of the National Forest Policy
1988, in which efforts have been made to achieve the desired goals like forest conservation,
extension of tree cover and fulfillment of the fuel requirement of the people. NFAP
{National Forestry Action Programme) has been made operational with the assistance of
ONPP since 1993 and initially areas like resource economics, forest industries planning,
institution development and forest sector review, have been taken care of efforts have been
made to devise effective methods to control forest fires and various schemes are running in
eleven states^i.

Exploitation of Forests

There was a time when forests covered a much longer area of the land surface then they do
know their partial or complete destruction has been brought about by a variety of reasons
but in many cases the primary cause has been man's desires to clear an area in order to
grow food stuffs. There is probably no other area of India's environment that has been
more viciously attacked and destroyed in the last century than the coury's forest. According
to official statistics India lost between the period 1951-1972, 3.4 million hectares of forest
lands to dams, new croplands, roads and industries, mining thereby an annual rate of
deforestation of about 0.15 M hectares. Though government statistics point out that the
approximately 23 percent of the country's total area that is 75 million hectare, is classified

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as forest lands. But this leads to be a misleading statement. It simply means that this vast
area is under

'" Dr. K.Venkata Reddy, "Agriculture and Rural Development, AG and Woon Perspective"/
Himalayan Publishing House, Mumbai, 2001, p 98.

"National Forest Policy (1988) Ministry of Environment & Forests.

the control of forest departments. There, however, is no guarantee that it has tree cover. A
report of the National Committee on Environment Planning also clearly sates that no more
than 12 percent of the country's total land surface is under adequate tree coveri2. The
following table indicates the extent of the forests lost for various logical or illogical reasons
during the period between 1952-72.

Table No. 1.1

Forest Area Lost in India During the period 1952-72

Sr. Purpose Area (in Thousand

No. Hac)

1. River Valley Projects 401

2. Agriculture Purposes 2,433

3. Roads and 55

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Communications

4. Establishment of 125

Industries

5. Miscellaneous 388

Total Area Lost 3,402

(This Represents an average annual loss of 1,55,000)

Source: Forest Resources of Tropical Asia, FAO (1981)

As it is clear from the table no. 1.1 that the forest area lost during the last two decades for
various reasonsloaa—&ee£k«ercrite significant though comprehensive figures for
reclaiming the losses or compensating the forest lost by some alternative afforestation or
conservation measures are not readily available but from all round apprehension
expressed about fast receding forest cover in country

1981 FAO report on Forest Resources of Tropic Asia clearly warns that the region is faced
with serious decrease in its forest stock. "There is no evidence to predict that the great
variety of forest services and functions, such as harboring of wild life, stabilization of soil
and of water can be re-established in the foreseeable future", says the report. The
consequences of this excessive depletion are increasing floods, soil erosion, heavy siltation
of dams built at an enormous expense and changes in microclimate. We have a forest cover
of barely 19.46 percent while the optimum forest cover of the area of any country must
have be 33 percent India's population has risen from 370 million in 1947 to 880 million in
1994. Constituting 18% of the world population. India also has 15% of world's livestock,
but only 2% of the geographical area, 1% of forest area, and 0.5% of pasture lands. Per
capita availability of forest in India is 0.08 which is much lower than the world average of
0.8 hac^"*.

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India has a forest area of 64 Mha, which constitutes only 19.5% of the total land area 98
against 33% of National Forest Policy of 1988. a large part of those forests is degraded and
productivity is very poor. Forest cover situation as assessed by remote sensing however
shows encouraging results of an increase area under the closed forest by almost 1% from
1981-1983 to 1987-

89. The average annual production of wood per hectare is 0.7 M3 as compared to the
world average of 2.1 M3 and the total estimated annual increment of growing stock was
1.29% in 1987. it has been estimated that about 157 million tones of firewood are required
for fuel every year by the rural population, whereas production is only

58 million tons. The remaining demand is met by illegal cutting and encroachment of the
forest is.

Thus, the pressure on the existing forest is quite high in India at present with high
population density and a very low per capita forest area. A wide range of flora and fauna
are fast disappearing as their natural habitats are destroyed, this further impoverishers the
remaining Indian forests.

In recent years, there has been increasing deforestation, causing environmental problems.
The National Forest Policy (1988) stipulates that a minimum of one-third of the total land
area of the country should be brought under forest or tree cover. India has a rich heritage
of species and genetic strains of flora and fauna. At present, India is home to several animal
species including 77 mammals, 22 reptiles and 55 birds and one amphibian species. For the
purpose of conservation of biological diversity India has developed a network of protected
areas including national parks, sanctuaries and biosphere reserves the Wild Life Protection
Act of 1991 prohibits the hunting of all species of wild life for commerce or for pleasure. An
amount of Rs. 422.24 crores was spent on preservation of forest and wild life by the end of
1996-9716.

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The state of Forest Report 1997, based on satellite data and interpretation identified some
states where forest cover is fairly good and some states like Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal
Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Kerala etc. where there has been further deterioration of forest
cover schemes like "Modern Forest Fire Control Methods in India", integrated afforestation
and eco-development project etc. ar engaged in schemes of afforestation.

Forest fires play a major role in degradation of biodiversity and productivity of forests. It is
estimated that about 60 percent of forest area is damaged by repeated annual forest fires.
Forest fires are quite common and wide spread since time immemorial. Today, the
incidence of forest fires is very high due to increase biotic interference in the forest eco-
system and inadequate forest fire management practices. Decreasing fiscal allocation in
forest sector and change in our priorities towards the whole concept of systematic forest
fire management are among the more important factors for failure in prevention of forest
fires.

More than 92% of forests in India are government owned and the responsibility of forest
management, including that of forest fires, lies with the State Forest Department.
Therefore, a national plan for systematic forest fire management for the purposes of
guiding, coordinating and monitoring the activities in this regard in necessary to realize
national goals and objectives.

The National Forest Policy 1988, also clearly spell out the need for protecting forest fires
through special precautions to be taken during the fire seasons and improved and modern
management practices adopted to deal with forest fire.

Fire in forest has been a perpetual problem though never tackles seriously. Even, today
there is no coordination between forest department and other agencies like National

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Remote Sensing Agency, Indian Meteorological Department and Forest Survey of India. The
Department does not have the requisite resources to fight the fires.

The problem of forest fire has been increasing gradually every year, and this concept of
forest fires management has become the

Forest fires are very common in many places around the world including much of the
vegetated areas of Australia as well as the Veld in the interior and the Fynbos in the
Western Cape of South Africa, and of course California. The forested areas of the United
States and Canada are also susceptible to forest fires. Fires are particularly prevalent in the
summer and during droughts when fallen branches, leaves and other material can dry out
and become highly inflammable in all over the world.

Notable Forest Fires

Following are the notable wild fire or forest fires in the world:

• One of the largest known forest fires, was the great fire of 1910 that burned on
Montana and Idaho.

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• The January 1936 Black Friday Fires, across the Australian state of Victoria, almost
20,000 km2 (4,942,000 acres, 2,000,000 ha) of land were burnt. 71 people died,

several towns were entirely destroyed. The stretion Royal Commission that resulted from it
led to major changes in fire and forest management in Australia.

• In 2004, approximately 6,500,000 acres (26,3002 Km) burned in Alaska.

• The Milford Flat Fire which burned in 2007 in Utah is statistically the largest fire
burning in Utah's history. At the time, Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr Stated that it is the
biggest fire burning in the world. The fire burned 363,052 acres (1469.22 Km^) before it
was fully contained^'^.

• The 2007 Greek fires were some of the deadliest in the world history, killing at least
64 people in Peloponnesus and Evia.

• The 2007 Southern California forest fires, burning an estimated 600,000 acres of
land with almost 900,00 people evacuated from the area.

by a large lightning storm in late August. The storm started roughly 1600 new fires, most
caused by dry lighting, fire fighting efforts continued in to October, before the majority of
the fires were controlled^8_
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• The Biscuit Fire burned almost 500,000 acres (2000 Km2) in Oregon and California
in 2002.

• McNally Fire Sequoia National Forest burned roughly 151000 acres (610km2) in
2002 and is the largest forest fire recorded in the forest history.

• The 2003 Okanogan Mountain Bark Fire was started by a lightning strike near
Rattlesnake island in Okanagan Mountain Park in British Columbia, Canada, during one of
the driest summers in the past decade. The final size of the fire storm was over 2502km. 60
fire departments, 1400 armed forces troops and 1000, forest fire fighters took part in
controlling the fire, but were largely helpless in stopping the disaster.

of Forest Fires

Contrary to the popular belief that all forest fires are natural and occurs due to lightning
strikes, bamboo rubbing or burning coal scams, the source of the forest fires in India are
almost entirely anthropogenic. The list of reasons for the fires in our forests lies within
human activity, wittingly and unwittingly carried out. At the height of the dry season,
between February and May when the forests are drained of moisture and the deciduous
forest floor is scattered with dry leaf litter, everything in the jungle is inflammable.

Man's desire for deliberately setting forests ablaze often stems from several domestic
needs. The most common domestic need being local harders resorting to this measure to
create new pastures for their cattle in the hope that fires would bring new shoots of grass
for their livestock. Collectors of minor forest produce such as dear antlers set forests on fire
so that it would aid their visibility in collecting the required produce which would

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otherwise be very difficult to spot in the knowledge of the geographical and temporal
distribution of burning is critical for assessing the emissions of gases and particulates to
the atmosphere. One of the important discovers in biomass burning research over the past
years based on a series of field experiments, is that fires in diverse ecosystems differ widely
in the production of gaseous and particulate emissions. Emissions depend on the type of
ecosystem, the moisture content of the vegetation and the nature, behaviour and
characteristics of the fire.

Lightening is an important source of natural fires which have influenced savanna type
vegetation in pre-settlement periods. The role of natural fires in the "lightning fire
bioclimatic regions" of Africa was recognised early. Lightning fires have been observed and
reported in the deciduous and semi deciduous forests biomes as well as occasionally in the
rain forest. Today the contribution of natural forest to the overall tropical forest fires scene
is becoming negligible. Most tropical fires are set intentionally by humans and are related
to several main causative agents:

• Deforestation activities (conversion of forest to other land uses, e.g. agricultural


lands, pastures; exploitation of other natural resources).

• Traditional but extanding slash and burn agriculture.

• Grazing land management (fires set by graziers)

• Use of non-wood forest products (use of fire to facilitate harvest or improve field of
plants, fruits and other forest products).

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• Wildland/residential interface fires (fires from settlement e.g. from cooking,


torches, camp fires etc.).

• Other traditional fire uses (in the wake of religious, ethnic and folk traditions, tribal
warfare etc.).

• Socio economic and political conflicts over question of land property and land use
rights.

Briefly the causes of forest fires can be classified into two categories:

A) Environmental Causes (Which are beyond control)

B) Human Related (Which are controllable)

Environmental Causes are largely related to climate conditions such as temperature, wind
speed and direction, level of moisture in soil and atmosphere and duration of dry spells.
Other natural causes are the friction of bamboos swaying due to high wind velocity and
roiling stones that result in sparks setting of fires in highly inflammable leaf letter on the
forest floor i^.

Human related causes result from human activities as well as methods of forest
management. These can be intentional or unintentional for example :-

" V.K. Bahuguna Updhyay, "Forest Fires in India-Policy Initiative for community
Participation" Internationa] Forestry Review 4(2) 2002 pp 122-123.

Graziers and gatherers of various forest products starting small fires to obtain good
grazing grass as well as to facilitate gathering of minor forest produce.

• The centuries's old practice of shifting cultivation.

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• The use of fires by villagers to ward off wild animals.

• Uncontrolled literate supervised departmental burning also caused forest fire.

• Fire lit intentionally by people living around forests for recreation.

• Fires started accidentally by careless visitors to forests who discard cigarettes butts.

• Villagers burn pastures for bringing about new flush of grasses.

• The fire litter by the people after collecting honey from honey bee in the forests.

• Fire litter by the travellers after camp.

• Coal driven railway engines sometimes cause fire in forests.

General Impacts of the Forest Fires

Fire is a major cause of forest degradation and has wide ranging adverse ecological,
economic and social impacts including,

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• Loss of valuable timber resources.

• Degradation of catchment areas.

• Loss of biodiversity and extinction of plants and animals.

• Loss of wild life habitat and depletion of wild life.

• Loss of natural regeneration and reduction of forest cover.

• Global warming.

• Loss of carbon sink resources and increase in^ percentage of CO2 in atmosphere.

• Change in the micro climate of the area with unhealthy living conditions.

• Soil erosion.

• Ozone layer depletion.

• Health problems leading to diseases.

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• Loss of livelihood for tribal people and the rural poor, as approximately 300 million
people are directly dependent upon collection of non-timber forest products from forests
areas for their livelihood.

Because of the smoke of the fire different types of health problems take placebo.

The vulnerability of forests to fires varies from place to place depending upon the type of
vegetation and climatic conditions. While taking the example of Himalayan regions that are
rich in natural resources like soil, minerals, water, valleys, rivulets and forests. Forest as
the backbone of the Himalayan economy is rich in biodiversity. But the time has come that
these resources are in danger . due to environmental problems such as overgrazing
deforestation and forest fires. It needs to manage promptly otherwise will create great
problems.

• Loss of valuable timber and minor forest produce resources.

• Loss of livelihood for tribal population living within or near the forest.

• Increase in the incidence of respiratory diseases.

• Loss of human life (Four Women grass cutters were killed in February, 2001 in
Gwar village of Uttranchal).

• Depletion of Carbon sinks, deteriorating the environmental condition.

• Loss of bio-diversity and extinction of plant and animal species.

• Soil erosions resulting in loss of soil productivity and flooding of downstream


valleys.

• Loss of agricultural land due to erosion and landsides.

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• Degradation of watersheds resulting in low rainfall and fall in the water table.

• Damage to wildlife habitat and their death.

• Damage to natural regeneration and reduction in forest vegetation.

Impact of Forest Fire on the Global Environment:

Forest fires controlled or uncontrolled have profound impacts on the physical environment
including: land cover, landuse, biodiversity, climate change and forest ecosystem. They also
have enormous implication on human health and on the socio-economic system of affected
countries. Economic cost is hard to quantify but an estimate by the economy and
environment can be provided. The fire incidence problem for South East Asia put the cost
of damages stemming from the Southeast Asiain fires (all causes) at more than $4 billion.
Health impacts are often serious. As per one estimate 20 million people are in danger of
respiratory problems from fire in Southeast Asia.

Most pronounced consequence of forest fires cause their potential effects on climate
change. Only in the past decade researchers have realized the contribution of biomass
burning to the global budgets of many radioactively and chemically active gases such as
carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, nitric oxide, tropospheric ozone, methyl
chloride and elemental carbon particulate biomass burning is recongised as a significant
global source of emission contributing as much as 40% of gases carbon dioxide and 30% of
tropospheric ozone.

Most of the world burnt biomass matter iS from savannas and because 2J3^'^ of the earth
savannas are in Africa, that continent is now recognized as 'burnt center' of the planet
Biomass burning is generally believed to be a uniquely tropical phenomenon because most
of the information on its geographical and temporal distribution is based on the
observation of the tropics.

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Table No. 1.2

Global Estimates of Annual Amounts of Biomass Burning

and Resulting Release of Carbon into the Atmosphere

Source of Burning Biomass Burned Carbon Released

(Tg dry Matter/Year) (Tg C/Year)

Savannas 390 1660

Agriculture Waste 2020 910

Tropical Forests 1260 570

Fuel Wood 1430 640

Temperate and boreal forests 280 130

Charcoal 20 30

World Total 8700 3940

Source: Andrea et al. 1991

Extent of Forest Fires in India and Estimated Losses:

The vulnerability of forests to fires varies from place to place depending upon the type of
vegetation and climatic conditions. The coniferous forests in the Himalayan region
comprising of species like fire, spruce, Cedrus deodar, Pinus roxburghi and Pinus
Wallichiana, are highly fire prone regions with one or two major incidences of forest fire
almost every year. As estimate of the area affected by forest fires annually in different
forest types is given under.

In a countryside study in 1995, the forest survey of India, estimated the area affected
annually by forest fires in India.

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Above figures give the extent of fire incidences in the forest areas of the country, based on
the inventory conducted by Forest Survey of India. The Forest Survey of India data on
forest fire, attributes around 50% of the forest areas as fire prone very heavy and frequent
forest fire damages are noticed only over 0.8%, 0.14% and 5.16% of forest areas of the
country, thus, only 6.17% of the forests areas prone to occasional fires damage 43.06
percent areas are prone to occasional fires. In absolute terms out of the 63 million ha of
forests in India 3.73 million ha can be presumed to be affected by fires annually. At this
level, the annual losses from forest fires in the country have been moderately estimated at
Rs. 440 crores. This estimate counts only the replacement cost of seedlings and does not
include losses to biodiversity, timber increment, carbon sequestration capability, soil
moisture and nutrient losses etc, all of which are very significant from the point of view of
ecological stability and environmental conservation.

Relevance of Forests in Himachal:

Forests in Himachal Pradesh have a very productive ecological niche attitudinally, the state
falls in the tropical zone, but its geographical location and good forest cover have enriched
it, both biologically and economically. During the immediate post independence period,
planners identified the forests of the state only as a source of timber and other products.
This led to large scale felling and clearing of forests areas. Deforestation, to meet the timber
needs of industries set up in the plains, ultimately created consciousness about the need to
protect the forests.

A vast majority of the population of the state is rural and depends mainly for its livelihood
either directly on forest products or on those, within are produced by using the resources,
conserved or protected by the forests unsustainable exploitation of dense forests
ultimately led to the gradual loss of the ecological environment suitable for producing
different crops, both traditional as well as improved commercial fruit, vegetable and
medicinal plants. The damage to the environment and the land is so heavy that certain
areas in the mid hills which 20 years ago were suitable for growing fruit crops are no
longer able to sustain the fruit plants and the farmers are losing interest in growing these
fruit crops. This condition of the forests adversely affects the economy of the hill people.

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The forest of Himachal Pradesh are not only of importance for the state, but have also a
strong influence on the ecology, climate and bioresources of the neighbouring states of
Punjab, Haryana, Uttranchal and Rajasthan. Glaciers flowing from the Tibetan hills and the
melting snows feed the rivers originating. In the state and provide water to other states.
The forest cover of Himachal not only regulates the rainfall in the neighbouring areas but
also ensures snowfall in the high mountains. A reduction in the forest cover of the state will
prevent the formula of glaciers and snow, resulting in less water in the rivers. The summer
heat will easily melt the glaciers and the snow and cause flash floods both in the hills and
plains of the neighbouring states.

Status of Forests in Himachal Pradesh

The strategy for the Ninth Five Year Plan of Himachal Pradesh states, "the degraded forest
lands, the village common lands and wastelands will be rehabillitated through various state

plans/centrally sponsored and externally aided project/schemes so that a forest cover of


50 percent by 2000 AD as per policy of the state government is arrived at "The National
Forest Policy, 1988 also has recommended that at least two third of the total geographical
area of Himachal Pradesh should be under forest. This comes to about 37,1152Km.
However, according to statistics provided by the Department of Forests, Himachal Pradesh,
the recorded forest area was 37,0332Km. In 2000-01 this amounted to 66.5 percent of the
geographical area. Nearly 16,3762Km, or 29.41 percent of the total geographical area is
under alpine pastures and perpetual snow cover. This leaves only 20,6572Km or 37.10
percent under some kind of forest coverts.

Satellite imagery places the forest cover of the state at 13,0822Km, or 23.5 percent of the
total geographical area in 1999, an increase of 56l2Km from 12,5212Km from 12,5212Km
in 1997. According to the latest data, the forest cover is 14,3602Km. Which is 25,79 percent
of the geographical area. This includes area under orchards and natural regenerated area.

C l a s s i f i c a t i on of Forests

Reserved forests: An area so constituted under the Indian forest or other state forest

Acts.

Protected Area: A legal term for an area subject

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Forest Acts.

Forest land owned by government but non-constituted into a reserved or protected forest.

All land with a forest cover of trees with canopy-density of 40 percent and above.

All land with a forest cover of

trees with canopy-density between 10 and 40 percent.

All land with poor tree growth chiefly of small or stunted trees with canopy-density less
than 10 percent23.

Above table shows the classifications of forests by legal and ownership status. Nearly 94.3
percent of the forests area of the state has been classified as reserved and protected forests.
The remaining

5.7 percent falls in other categories. Within the protected forests,

34. 3 percent of the area has been demarcated. Private individuals Himachal Pradesh is a
predominantly mountainous state. Consequently, its climate is more congenial to forests. It comprises
four forest zones- sub-tropical, sub-temperate, wet temperate and dry-temperate.

This zone consists of foothills and valleys up to an elevation of about 915 metres above mean sea level
with a sub-tropical climate and an annual rainfall of 70-100 cm, of which 75 percent falls during the
monsoon season. The maximum temperature goes up to 400C. It comprises dry deciduous, chir pine, sal
(21402Km) and thorny forests (432Km) mostly of xerophytic species.

Sub-Temperate Forests

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These forests extend from 916 metres to about 1523 metres above mean sea level, has a mild climate
an annual rainfall of 90-120 cm, nearly 70 percent of which is received during the monsoon season.
Some upper hills get mild snowfall during winter, which does not stay for long.

The maximum temperature in summer remains around 30°C various species of pines, oaks and broad-
leafed species grow in this zone. There are good pastureland in this area.

Wet-Temperate Forests

These extend from 1524 to 2472 metres above mean sea level, and have some major forests and
pasturelands. The annual rainfall vaies from 100-250 cm, with snowfall during winter, when the
temperature falls to minus 10°C. During summer, the maximum temperature ranges between 15 and
200C. These forests have been categorised as (a) lower western Himalayan temperate forests consisting
of conifers, oaks and various deciduous trees and (b) Western Himalayan temperate forests, which
consist of firs, oaks and rho do dendron species found in alpine zones.

Dry-Temperate Forests

These extend to above 2472 metres. The mean annual temperature is around lO^C and the mean annual
precipitation about 25cm, most of which is received as snow. The area contains scattered trees and
bushes such as chilgoza, willow, erobinia, ailanthus, poplars and alpine pastures interspersed with
bushes such as ephedra.

The flora and fauna of varied natural ecosystems constitute the forest wealth of the state. The forest
varieties range from soft wood conifers to hard wood deciduous flowering plants. Th^ 45,000 species of
plants found in the country as many as 3,295 are reported in the state. The status of land utilization for
the state is given in table 4.1.

Table 1.4 .

Land Utilisation in Himachal Pradesh

Category Area (Sq-Km)

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Geographical Area 55,673

Forests Area (Forest Records) 37,033

Permanent Pastures and other 7,549

grazing lands including alpine

pastures, barren and uncultivable

wastes etc.

Follow Lands (Current and other 719

follows)

Net Area south 5,514

Cultivate Wastes 1,194

Land but to non-agricultural uses 3,022

Source: Himachal Pradesh Forests 2002, Forest Department

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On the face value Himachal Pradesh seems to be comparatively in a happier position in the context of
national averages. The following tables gives an idea of the area under forests in Himachal Pradesh at
the national level.

Table 1.5

Comparative Studies of Forest Resources

Area thousands and population thousand no •

Geographical Forest Percentage Population Per-Capita

Area Area of Forest to 1981 Forest

Geographical Census Area

Area

Himachal

Source: Iridia's Forest, Issues by Central Forestry Commission Government of Indial980.

The percent forests coverage has also been Juxtaposed. Similarly for the population figures in Himachal
Pradesh and in the country as a whole per capita forest area has been worked out and compared.

The forests of Himachal are important for the country from ecological point of view. They form the
upper catchments areas of the rivers in northern India. After the opening up of the region by way of
roads and paths the hitherto inaccessible and valuable

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Table no. 1.9 is showing the different causes of forest fires in Himachal Pradesh from 1991-92 to 1992-
98. In 1991-92 there were about 93 cases due to accident in which 2157 hectare area was affected. In
1992-93, about 96 forest fires were occurred due to above cause and in that 1732 hac area was affected
in 1993-94, forest fires incidents due to above factor were 46 and 569 hac are was burnt. In 1994-95, 16
forest fires were recorded by this factor. In 1995-96, 58 cases were recorded in which about 4165 hac
area was burnt. In 1996-97, 28 forest fires were recorded due to accident and in 1997-98 the number
were 14 in which 1993 hac area was affected.

In 1991-92, 12 forest fires were recorded due to crossing exterior fire in which about 744 hectare land
was burnt in some year 331 incidences were recorded due to villages or travelers passing through the
forest in this 2257 hac area was burnt in that year 96 causes were unknown. In 1997-98 14 cases were
recorded due to accidents, only 2 cases were due to crossing exterior fire traces in which 8 hac area was
affected.

29 forest fires incidents were due to travelers passing through forests and in that about 143 hac area
was burnt. These were the causes and number of incidents were increasing and decreasing during the
period between 1991-92 to 1997-98.

Table no. 1.9 provides the figures relating to the causes of forest fire along with number of cases and
affected areas. Though forest fire is a global phenomenon, the only difference in tackling this problem in
Himachal Pradesh is the lack of prioritization of forest management objectives. The concept of forestry
planning has changed over the

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period of time with the changing fund planning. Earlier most of the forest activities were funded through
non plan, therefore, the funding source was stable and assured, but soon after the introduction of plan
funding in the forestry sector, the maintenance components of forests, which included many issues (fire
protection being one of them) were given up. The area of prevention and control the forest fire in the
state depends upon two basic components:

1. Control Burning

2. Clearing of forest lines

In hilly forest areas the effective way to check forest fire expansion are maintenance of fire lines, block
lines, installation adequate watch tower, networking through wireless communication system and a
highly mobile fire fighting crew system to reach the nearest sight of fire by road.

Table no. 1.10 is showing the clear picture of forest fire during the period between 2000-2001.

In different forest Circles table no or forest area excluding private forests were 36,29,496 hac and the
target was to protect the 36,42,769 hac area from forest fires. Area burned during thy year was about
6,216 hac. Total protected area was about 35,36,553 hac. Total protection cost during the year was
6134.1 lac rupees.

Table no. 1.11 reveals the area protected from fire during the year 2001-2002. Total area in different
circles was 36,28,496 hac. Area attempted to be protected during the year was 34,94,669 hac. Total are

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burnt during the period was about 1684 hac and area actually protected was 34,93,045 hac and total
protection cost was 7349.2 lacs.

It is clear from the table no. 1,12 that department made best effort to protect the forest from burning.
Target was to protect the 35,11,503 hac area which was actually, protected was 34,98,675 hac. Area
burnt during the year was 1,2828 hac and protection cost was 8418.2 lacs.

Table no. 1.13 shows that in 2004-05 in different circles of Himachal Pradesh the target was to protect
the 33,79,183 hac of area out of 36,28,496 hac. Area which protected was 33,10,998 hac. Area burnt
during the period was 6319 hac and total cost of protection was 9042.8 lacs.

It is clear that efforts are being made to protect the maximum are from forest fires during the years.

Above table no. 1,14 shows the causes of forest fires in 2004-05 in different places in Himachal Pradesh.
In Bilaspur circle about 20 forest fires incidences were recorded in which 201 hectare of area was burnt
and forest fires were occurred due to carelessness in burning fire lines. 34 fires were occurred due to
villagers or travelers passing through the forest in which about 585 hectare of area was burnt due to 16
forest fire incidences and cause was the same mentioned above in Rampur 47 incidences in which 1057
hectare area was hurt the cause was the same.

47

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After observing the temperature the result is this that in 2004-05 129 forest fires incidences were
recorded due to cardessness in burning fire lines in which 2315 hac area was burnt, and 119 forest fires
were occurred due to travelers passing through the forests in which 2420 hactare area was burnt.

Table no. 1.15 below provides an idea of area protected by the

Forest Department:

Table 1.15

Area Protected from Forest Fire in Himachal Pradesh

Years Area Failures Area Protection

Attempted i.e. areaProtected Cost (Rs

to be actually to million)

protected be pointed

1 2 3 4 5

1983-84 958628 966 957668 0379

1984-85 , 974671 50364 924307 3563

1993-94 1871178 10170 1861008 2650

1994-95 2680912 10850 2670062 3033

1996-97 2689223 6052 2683171 9399

1997-98 3039145 2174 3036971 8942 Source: Annual Administrative Report Forest
Department

Table no. 1.15 has depicted the clear picture of area protected from forest fire in Himachal Pradesh.

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In 1983-84 about 9,58,628 hac area was attempted to be protected and 9,57,669 hac was protected.
Protection cost was 379 million. In 1984-84 the attempt was to protect the area about 9,74,671 hac and
protected area was 9,27,307 hac. protection cost was about 3,568 million. In 1993-94 it was the target
to protect the area about

18,77,178 hac and area which was acturally protected were 18,61,008. Protection cost was about 2650
million. In 1994-94 26,80,912 hac area was the target to be protected and 26,70062 hac area was
protected, in which total cost was 3033 million. In 1996-97 total area targeted to be protected was
26,29,223 hac and actually protected were 26,83,171, total cost of protection was 9399 million. And in
1997-98 there was the target to protect about 30,39,745 hac area and area which was protected was
30,36,971, heactare. Protection cost was 8942 million.

It can be said the government has been trying to their best to protect maximum areas.

Details of Fire Incidences from 2000-01 Onwards:

Here is the data from 2000 to 208 which has shown the state of forest fires in Himachal Pradesh during
the years. In 2000-01 there were 301 incidents of forest fires has been recorded in which about 5119
hac area was affected and total estimated loss were 4622 lacs. In 2001-02 number of fire incidents were
282 and estimated loss was about 40.27 lacs. About 550 forest fire incidences has occurred in 2002-03 in
which 9896 hac area was affected and total estimated loss was 74.31 lacs. In 2003-04 about 769 forest
fires has occurred and 12,865 hac was affected and total loss of 86.42 lacs . In 2004-05, 391 forest fires
were recorded in which 60022 hac area was affected and estimated loss was about 36.39 lacs. In the
series 494 incidents took place in 2006-06 and area affected was 8195.7 hac and 47.01 lac wre the
estimated loss. In 2006-07 about 208 forest fires were recorded and in 2007-08 about 580 forest fires
were recorded in which 7810.8 hac of area was affected and estimated loss was 86.63 lacs.

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Tables show the seriousness of forest fires in Himachal during the years.

Table 1.16

Information Regarding Fire Incidents with Effect From

2003 - 0 4 as on 9 . 03 . 2007

Year District No. of Fire Area Loss (in

Incidents Effected (in Rs.)

hac)

1 2 3 4 5
2003-04 Kangra 118 1292.67 1419707
Una 10 207.50 73550
Total 128 1500.17 1493207
2004-05 Kangra 78 587.12 724573
Una 3 26.00 2500
Total 81 613.12 727073 Kangra 87 783.11 818322
2005-06
Una 10 115.70 42.450
Total 97 898.81 860772
2006- Kangra 39 458.62 462551 Una 3 5.50 4500
07
Total 42 464.12 467051
Source: Forest Department Dharamshala

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Table No. 1.17

Details of Fire Incidences From 2000-01 Onwards

Year No. of Fire Area Effected Estimated Loss

Incidents (in hac) (Rs. In Lacs)

1 2 3 4
2000-01 301 5119 46.22
2001-02 282 4204 40.27
2002-03 550 9896 74.31
2003-04 769 12865 86.42
2004-05 391 60022 36.39
2005-06 494 8195.7 47.01
2006-07 280 5012.88 44.47
2007-08 580 7810.8 86.63
Source: H.P. Forest Department

For the present study four regions of Himachal Pradesh has been selected namely Nahan, Solan, Shimla
and Kullu. Selection of the region was based on incidence of forest fires.

Areas of Study

Nahan

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The word Nahan appear to have been derived from Sanskrit word Nahan, Which means 'tiger' or 'Nah'
and name Nahan was founded in 1621 AD by Raja Karam Prakash. Presently it is the headquarter of
district Sirmour. In the heart of the city the old palace is still jin good condition. In this part there is
another place called Shamshervitta, constructed by Raja Shamsher Singh. Just Below the palace is Rani
Tal Bagh, The town is vary salubrious in climate and has all the modern amenities with circuit houses.
The district lies on outer Himalayan ranges called as Shiivalik between 77ori2'' and 77099'40'' east
longitude and 30022'30'' and 31001'30" north latitude and except the Dun Valley.

The district is predominantly mountainous and bounded by Shimla district in the north, The rivers Tons
and Yamuna in the east district Ambala of Haryana in the South and West and North-West by Solan
district.

The forest range between scrub, sal and bamboo forest of the low hills to the fur, and alpine forest of
the higher elevations. The forests grown between the extremes vary as the elevation. The higher level
forest consist of oaks, fur, spouce and bluepine. A part from them, there are deodar forest in the north
of the giri river mixed with kail and pine. These forests are very valueable and timber extracted from
that is sold in the plains for very high price, in the form of sleepers. Sal forest is occurred in the Dun
Valley and east of Nahan. Its timber is of great value.

Solan

District Solan has derived its name from the Solan town which came into existence after the
construction of containment at the place. The district is bounded by the Shimla district in the north and
by Ropar district of Punjab and Ambala district of Haryana in the South, by Sirmour district in the east
and by Bilaspur in the west. The Solan town being the headquarter of the district is popular Summer
resort and is situated between Shimla Kalka or on national highway no. 22 at distance of 45 kms from
Shimla. It is connected by rail also. The height from mean sea Level is 1463 meters. There are Art And
Science College, State Institute of Education, Higher Secondary School for Girls and High Schools for
Boys, The town became the headquarters of the district Administration when Solan was formed as a
separate district of the state from 1st September 1972. The town Solan is coming up on the industrial
map of the district and the state.

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Before the independence Solan was known for the location of Mohan Meakin Brewery, a reputed house
for the manufacture of Indian made foreign liquor and beverages. Forest lie between 500 meters to
2300 meters elevation, in the district. The slopes are from mediate to precipitous. Solan forest divisions
contains scrub forest on tower elevation and chil, deodar and kail at higher elevation oak forest are also
available on higher elevation, in scrub forests the proportion of bamboo, khair and a few other
economically important broad leafed species, chir is relatively very low among confer species the most is
the predominant one. The principle marketable products are Resin, Chir timber and 2 pupwood, fire
wood and charcoal and katha.

Shimla

The shape of the district is somewhat rectangular with hight bulges on the western side intruding
toward Solan district and on the northern side towards KuUu district. The district lies between the
longitudes 7700" and 78019" east and latitudes 3004501" and 31044" north and is bounded by Mandi
and KuUu district in the north Kinnaur in the east, the state of Uttar Pradesh in the south and by Solan
district in the west. In the district about 262360 hectares of land area was under forest, of this 6334
hectares constituted reserve forest. 250228 heactares protected forests and 5798 hectares unclassed
and other forests. The forest in Shimla district come under Shimla forest circle and comprises four
divisions, namely circle and comprises four divisions, namely Chaupal, Kotgarh, Rohru and Shimla.

For proper exploitation of the forest wealth on scientific and economic lines, the work has been
entrusted to the Himachal Pradesh forest corporation and to save the land from erosion, vigorous, steps
are being taken under the soil conservation schemes by constructing check dams where necessary and
by suitable plantation.

KuUu

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KuUu was once a big state next to the Kashmir and Kangra. After the British occupation of the Punjab
hills in 1846 it formed a part of the British territory. The district in its present forms lies between
31058'00" north latitude and 77006'04'' east longitude. On the north and north east it is bounded by
Lahul and Spiti and Kangra district, on east and South-east by Kinnaur and Shimla and in the south-west
by Mandi district. The district headquarter is located at Kullu.

The district of Kullu presents a typical rugged mountainous terrain with moderate to high relief. Forest
occupy a prominent place in the economy of the district and these are administrated by the forest
division Kullu. Forests constitute a major proportion of the total land. The reserve forest are spread over
an area of 15618 hectare while the protected forest constituted for 193495 hectare of land.

The forest of Kullu district are rich in various kinds of medical herbs like, Karu, Dhoop, Muskwala and
Kakarsingi,. Mushrooms are also available in plenty and extracted in large quantity from Kullu forests.

Deodar attains considerable dimensions in the upper Beas and Parvati valley. All the higher ranges have
den forests valleys deodar, kail, cheel, Walnut, Worse Chestnut and Oak are better classes of trees
found in abundance in the forests.

Review of Literature

The literature on fires in Indian forests shows that they play a vital role throughout the country. They
have been mentioned throughout the period of scientific forestry as a major cause of degradation of
forests. Very few empirical studies have been done on the reasons for these fires and in most cases their
origin remains

unclear. Available evidence suggests that fires are employed to maintain the grass layer for cattle
grazing and that they facilitate the collection of several non-timber forest products. It can be stated that
fires are set to gain a certain benefits or in other words to obtain a specific eco-system service we use
the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment's definitions of the term ecosystem services to include both
tangible products as well as intangible services. The list of tangible products obtained with the help of
fire is a long one, and ranges from fodder and NTFP (Non Timber Forest Products) to fuel wood and
charcoal. The intangible services obtained with the help of fire are more difficult to assess and so far
there have been very few studies on this topic in India.

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Francois Ramde (1984) Study on Ecological and Natural Resources reveals that in the way of forest
protection forest fire is a grand obstacle. He explains the causes of forest fires. His study shows that
European forests has suffered grand degradation from fire in recent years. Over the whole
Mediterranean basin, approximately 2,00,000 hectares of forests are burnt down each year. Author has
suggested suggestions to protect the forests^.

J.K. Brown & Debyle, NV (1989) In their paper have their discussed biomass of grasses, forbs and shrubs
and production of aspen suckers were monitored annually for 4-5 years, following 3 prescribed fires
stand in South Eastern Idaho. In this paper the varied patterns of vegetation and their management
implications are discussed. How to solve the forest related problem like deforestation, overgrazing.
These all issue are discussed in this paper2.

' Francois Ramade, 'Ecology of Natural Resources' Willey & Sons, 1984.

^ J.K. Brown, Debule, N.V., Effects of Prescribed Fire On Biomass and Plant Succession in Western
Europe, USA, 1989, pp 16-30.

Julio, G (1990) in his study he has made on analysis of 19,645 recorded forest fires in Chile in four years
(1984-88) in order to develop a system for assessing fire risk. The best functions for estimating fire risk
were multiple linear regressions with variables like temperature, relative, humidity, wind speed, drought
and seasonality. Functions are presented for each of the risk zone^.

Veloz R. Salazar, M Lundeford {1990) in their article entitled 'Fire have Investigated the forest fires
ecology'. Six articles are included on this topic. Mediterranean forest fire, causes, effects and control

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with particular reference to Spain, EAO's role in forest fire protection modern forest fire control, an
Indian experience and fire as a forest management tool'*.

R.S. Thapa & Singh (1990) in their paper explained the damages caused by fire which broke out in April-
May 1984 in Nahan Forest division in H.P. and number of Chir pine trees slowly started dying one after
the other even after 10 months of out break of fire. Author has described all that types of forest which
were destroyed in forest fire. In the end they have given suggestions to control and prevent the problem
of forest fire^.

R.K. Pandey, Nirmal K. Shah & Shankar D. Bhatt (1990) have considered environment degradation as a
major natural disaster. They pointed out that forest environment in the Himalaya is deteriorating day by
day due to forest fires and deforestation. Rainfall has become erratic and lesser in quantity, water
sources are fast drying up. Authors have suggested some solutions to the problem being faced,

' Julio, G, 'A System of Forest Fire Hazard Indices for Chile' Institute de Mangejo Forestall, Chile,
1990, pp 59-72.,

" Velez, R. Salazar, M. Lundeford, J., Fire Unasyla, 1990, pp 3-38.

^ R.S. Thapa & Singh P, Forest Entome Discipline, the Indian Forester, 1990, pp 375-380.

among those environmental rehabilitation, forestation, horticulture, forest farming and like other
methods^.

S.S. Negi (1990) in his book entitled 'Himalayan Forests and Forestry' has described the Himalayan
forests and programmes of forestry. He has also described the biotic pressure on forests by annual
forest fires removal of leaf litter and removal of forest produce etc. Book also reveals that participation
of various agencies can help in the success of forestry programmes'^.

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Afrin, M. I (1991) has discussed the forest fire disaster of Russia. In 1990 a total of 1.4 million ha of
forested land and 0.3 million ha of non forested land were affected by fires with a total loss of 113.2
million roubles. A break down of some of those figures is given in this book with discussion of the causes
of fires, penalties, organization of fired diction and fire fighting, weather and fire forecasting etc^.

Karkee, T.B. (1991) in his article he has carried out survey of two regions which were affected by forest
fire in Nepal in 1988. After finding out some causes he has guided some suggestions^.

Flanningoan, M.D. & Wagner (1991) ^^in the journal of 'Forestry Canada' have described the potential
effect of global warming on the severity of the forest fires season in results were super imposed over
historical sequences of daily weather, the relation between season severity ratings and annual provincial
area burned by wildfire was analysed. The results suggested a 46% increase in season severity

* R.K. Pandey & Nirmal K. Shah & Shankar D. Bhatt, Himalaya: Environment, Resource &
Development, Alamara Boole Dept, 1990.

' S.S. Negi, 'Himalayan Forests & Forestry' Indus Publishing Company, 1990, New Delhi.

* Afrin, M. I, 'Against Fire Disaster' Lesnaya Promyshelouw, 1991, No. 6 Moscow, pp 5-6.

9 Karkee, T.B., 'Forest Fire Causes and its Relationship with Socio Economic Variables, Nepal
Journal of Forestry (1991), pp 75-80.

'"' Flanningoan, M.D. «& Wagner, 'Climate Change and Wildfire in Canada' Canadian Journal of Forest
Research, 1991, pp 66-72.

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rating, with a possible similar increase in area burned, as a result of doubling present CO2 levels.

Gopesh Nath Khanna (1993) has undertaken a study on global environment crisis with an objection of
the assessment of UNEP with special Indian analysis the concept of environment and the pattern of
action of safe guard it through planning and policies has been described. According to author all the
environmental problems starts from degradation of forests. Forest degradation by fires is very common
and it is caused by man. Interference of man in ecological activities caused destructionii.

V.K Bahaguna 8& A. Upadhyay (2002) in their paper they have presented the prevalent causes and
extent of forest fires in India. They have described the status of the Joint Forest Management
Programme, introduction of modern methods to combat forest fires, the recognition of the need for
community involvement and initiatives taken by the government of India to encourage participation by
communities this paper is based on policies of the government of India and on the personal experiences
of the authors, who are responsible for managing forests fires in India for the government at National
level. They have described the national guidelines on forest fires. From this paper one can get the idea
the problem of forest fire and management system in India^2

Ravi Mishra (2001) in encyclopedia of geographical science and environment tried to bring together and
in simple way the fundamentals of geographical science and environment. Books shows that
environment includes many complexities, and interrelated concepts. Writer has described many
environmental problems which

" Gopesh Nath Khanna, 'Global Environment Crisis & Management' Ashsish Publishing House,
New Dellhi, 1993.

'^ V.K. Bahauguna & A. Upadhyay, 'Forest Fires in India, - Policy Initiatives for Community Participation,
International Forestry Review, 4(), 2002, pp 122-127.

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affect community very deeply like problems related to water, soil, streams and valleys, glaciers and the
forests. He has described how deforestation could create torrents and floods. The deforestation that
give else to such flows can be produced both by felling and fire. Due to fire in forests there are many
instances of climate change and rising of sea level. Book gives some suggestions to improve or tackle
with the problems 13.

Aarti Dhar (2005) in her article for 'Policy on Disaster Management emphasized upon the needs to have
a full fledged policy and a national institute of disaster management. She pointed out that there is a lack
of proper policy to tackle with the disasters^^.

Rajive, K. Shrivastava & Dhan Singh (2003) monitored and evaluated the state of forest fire in India. They
remarked that in India majority of wild land fires are the consequences of a combination of climate and
human activities. Such anti-environmental human activity has resulted in threat to biodiversity,
ultimately leading to global warming. The smioke from burning vegetation not only led to environmental
pollution but also reduces rainfall release of chemically active gases like, CO2, Carbon Monoxide,
Methane, Nitricoxide makes forest fire very responsible to climate change. The book includes the forest
area affected by forest fire in India. So this study examines the impact of forest fire on climate change
and forest biodiversityis,

Jarnail Singh & S. Shrivastava (1995) in their paper on fire protection plan described the policies and
programmes. Malghat forest division of Maharashtra was taken up to study. The plan mainly focuses on
early detection, suppression and organisation of field staff

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" Ravi Mishra, 'Encyclopedia of Geographical Science & Environment', Annual Publications Pvt
Ltd., New Delhi, 2001.

'" Aarti Dhar, 'Need for Policy on Disaster Management', The Hindu April 7, 2005, p 9.

" Rajiv, K. Shrivastava & Dhan Singh, 'Forest Fire, Haze Pollution and Climate Change; Indian
Forester, Vol 129, No. 6, June 2003, pp 725-734.

and available resources to control the fire. The paper evaluates the people perception also^^.

S.N. Rai & Alok Saxena (1997) have pointed the causes of degradation of forests in India. Their study
revealed that forest fire and grazing by animals was the main cause of forest degradation. They included
in their study forest inventories carried out by forest survey of India since 1965. This inventory includes
the extent of fire and the regeneration status. This paper explores that how the natural regeneration of
the forest is affected by these and other anthropogenic factorsi'^.

A.N. Chaturavedi (1999) in his article on 'Forest Fire' has drawn the attention to the damage done by
forest fires. Most forest fires are man made the writer says. He admits that forest areas in India are
subject to heavy biotic pressure. Grazing of livestock, collection of non-wood forest products, collection
of firewood for bonafide as well as for sale in neighobouring township are common practices. Fire
reduces the productivity of such forests. Author suggests that the forester must fix priority for forest
type so that they should have in larger national interest ^8.

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Phillip Engelbert & Diane Sawinski (2001) have made an attempt to describe disaster especially natural
disaster, their cause, effects and relief, mitigation and prediction in their book entitled 'Dangerous
Planet - The Science of Natural Disaster' - The book describes at least 16 types of natural disaster
alphabetically and the methods of managing them^^.

'* Jamail Singh & Shrivastva, 'Fire Protection in East Malghat Forest Division, Indian Forester, Vol. 121,
July 1995, No. l,pp 59-99.

S.N. Rai & Alok Saxena, 'The Extent of Forest Fire, Grazing and Regeneration Status in Inventoried Forest
Area, Indian Forester, Vol. 123, Aug 1997, No. 8, pp 689-766.

'* A.N. Chaturvedi, Forest Fire, India Forester, Vol. 125, December, 1999, No. 12„ pp 1271-1273.

" Philips Engelbert, Dangerous Earth Planet - The Science of Natural Disaster, December 2001.

Jayant Kumar (1999) in his paper entitled 'Disaster Management - A Case Study' has emphasized on the
need for initiating action at various levels by all concerned on this issue. In order to streamline and
improve the disaster preparedness and response capacities. Writer explained that it is essential that a
comprehensive and critical analysis of the pre, during and post disaster preparedness and response of
various government agencies should be under taken. According to writer the objective of writing this
paper is not to find fault with any agency or institution but to learn from experiences, identify areas
concern, fix responsibilities and identify focal points for action in pre during and post disasters situations
in the future^o.

Kavita Arora in the paper 'Management of Indian Tropical Forest: Need of Review, has explained that
tropical forests of India are important not only from ecological point of view but also from the fact that
they are having economic importance. The role of voluntary organization to check forest destruct on is
an important aspect for environmental protection. There is a dire need to protect the forests from
degradation causes like overgrazing, deforestation and forest fires. Writer has given the example that in
Los Angeles there has been a proposal of timber purchasing laws in which preference would be given to

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the wood certified by an environmental organization and Asian countries will be badly hit by this
legislation

Kishna P. Acharya (2005) in the journal 'Mountain Research and Development' has described the main
forest management strategy of Nepal, Community forestry is based on people participation in Nepal
local people make decisions regarding forest management. They are organised as a community forest
user group. The study describes the community forestry policy in which all management decisions such
as

^° Jayan Kumar, 'Disaster Management, Dana, February 1999, pp 36-38,42.

^' Kavita Arora, 'Management of Indian Tropical Forest', Need of Review, Yojana, October, 2001, pp 43-

land management, forest management and resource distribution are taken by the Community Forest
User Group (CFUGs). The aim of the case studies was to analyse various institutional arrangements
developed by community forest users groups in order to implement forest management properly22.

V.K. Bahuguna (2002) in his paper entitled 'Forest Policy Initiatives in India over the last few years' has
introduced a new integrated forest protection scheme during the 10**^ five year plan. The emphasis
was to deal holistically. According to the paper it has been estimated that around 3 million hac of forests
were affected annually by forest fires causing a loss of around Rs. 4.4 billion annually. He has discussed
the National Guidelines for fire prevention and control23.

R.K. Luna (2007) in the book named "Principles and Practices of Forest Fire Control" has emphasised on
the need of proper policy to control and prevent forest fire in India. In this book it is pointed out that
forest fire is still fought with oldage methods, when systematic, modern fire management techniques
are followed in rest of the world. This book after presenting a comprehensive overview of the forest fire
give suggestions.

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Himachal Pradesh Development Report (2007) Himachal Pradesh is a disaster prone state. It has seen
various types of natural disasters on time to time, among those flash floods. Cloudbursts, earthquake
and forest fires are common. The report states that in comparison with other parts of the country, the
forests of the Himalayan region are more prone to forest fires. The report points out that severity of the
problem may be judged from the forest fires of 1995 in two states of Uttaranchal and Himachal. The
report also gives the suggestions to cope with the

^^ Krishna P. Acharya, Private, Collective and Centralised Institutional Arrangements for Managing
forest 'Commons' in Nepal, Mountain Research & Development, Vol. 25, No. 3 Aug 2005, pp 269-277.

" V.K. Bahuguna, Forest Policy Initiatives in India over the last few years, Proceedings of the Forest
Polity Workshop Kualulumpur, Malaysia 22-24, Jan 2002.

problem and also recommended that Himachal Pradesh should develop advance, specific hazard-
mitigation plans and should provide a strong and stable administrative setup for disaster mitigation,
prepareness and relief^'*.

David Ganz, Peter Moore and Dominque Reeb in their book entitled 'Community Based Fire
Management, Case Studies from China, The Gambia, Honduras, India, Lao Ss Turkey' have drawn the
attention of readers towards the management of forest fires by community. According to this study fire
is a disturbance that has played, and will continue to play a major role in forest ecosystems throughout
the world. These case studies points out that in many parts of the world local communities are often
blamed for setting fire on forests. These studies were conducted in many parts of the world, the result is
that local population were total fail to control fires but not due to lack of awareness or carelessness but

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rather a lack of incentives to protect forest resources. Why protect forests when they are owned by the
state and utilized by outsiders? Authors have suggested that emphasis should not only on community
involvement but also on a community capacity which should be supported by other agencies25.

Dr. K. UUas Karanth, Director India Programme of Wildlife conservation Society (WCS) during his long
term studies in Nagarhole National Park and other reserves in Karnatka has observed several
consequences of forest fires on wildlife and their habitat. Fires have a devastating effect on the forests
and turns huge areas into ash and deserts. Forest fires destroy valuable timber worth several crores
annually, just one cubic feet of teak could fetch over Rs. 1,400 in the market. The extent of loss of
revenue is unimaginable but more important is the irretrievable loss in the biological and ecological
areas.

^^ Himachal Pradesh Development Report 2007, State Government's Document.

David Ganz, Peter Moore and Dominque Reeb, Community Based Fire Management, Case Studies from
China to Ganibia FAO Corporate Document Repository.

Prabhakar (2001) in his book entitled 'Laws on Forests' has covered major laws to protect forest and
forest resources. These include the state of the world forest planning, Amazon Defloration, Desperation
of Brasilia International Tropical Timber Agreement. International Labour Conference Recommendation
and Rio Declaration on Government and Development^^.

Dohston, D.R., A.J. Grayson and R.T. Bradley (1978) have written a book on 'Forest Planning'. The book
deals with developing practical and realistic methods of management and planning for an expanding
forests estate. The book is divided into four parts. The first part deals with forest policy, the second with
principles and techniques of planning, the third with the implementation of plans and the fourth with
data collection. If provides guidelines to forest management and conservation^^.

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Kaushil , R.C. (1969) has tried to make a bulletin. Himachal Pradesh statistics 1969 is fourth in the series
of statistical bulletin. The publication gives details on the forest area, growing stock, field revenue and
expenditure, achievements under Five Year Plans, out turn of major and minor forest products, results
of auctions, timber supplies, detail of working plans, results of working of resin sturpentive factories
organisation of forest development etc. in a way it almost covers all the forest resources of the Himachal
Pradesh, and methods of the management.

GOHP (1966) Himachal Pradesh this souvenir is a brief resume of the development of forestry over a
period of one century, the resources and the action planned and being taken for development of the
forest resources of Himachal Pradesh. Some special features of this souvenir are that the data regarding
the forest area under different species,

^* Prabhakar V.K., Laws on Forests, Anmol Publications, New Delhi 2001.

" Johston, D.R, A.J. Grayson and R.T. Bradley, Forest Planning, Natraj Publication, Dehrradun, 1978.

growing stock and prescribed yield have been compiled for different forest divisions. The information
regarding soil erosion forest fire and grazing problems has also been summarised. The possibilities of
setting up forest based industries, including the resin and allied industries, have been dealt with to make
the best use of our forest resources and to harness them for the greatest benefit of the people^s.

Heinsall J.K. P. (1975) has made .an assessment of forests. Forest assessment is the evaluation of forest
lands and stands and their general management, taking into account all uses to which they are put. For
such assessment one must consider history, topography, climate, soil, production, economics of timber

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ecology and nature conservation and social functions including recreation. The book describes the
present trend of these in forest management29.

G.B. Pant (1982) has pointed the forest management problems. He has conducted the study on Kumaon
region. In this study he observed that the village folk felt that their rights were being encroached open,
since the authorities damped restrictions. Forestry Services were nearly the only element of those
modernizing systems which began defining the long range ecological realities. The book covers all these
aspects^o.

A.S. Rawat (1999) study deals with the history any growth of forestry and its impact on the marginalized
population. Topics covered include Integrated Watershed Management, importance of micro-
watersheds innovation in forestry, the role of NGOs in forest problems management. The author has
also discussed the strategies for

^' GOHP, Himachal Pradesh Forest Souvenir Central Boards of Forestry X Meeting Shimla October 15-16
1996, Department of Forest, Govt, of H.P. Shimla.

Heinsdi JK, Forest Assessment, Contre for Agriculture Publication and Documentation, Wage ningen,
1975.

'° Pant, G.B., 'Forest Problems in Kumaon, Forest Problems and National Uprising in the Himalayan
Region, Gyanoaya Pradashan, Nainital.

65

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preservation of biodiversity human ecology, deforestation, forest fire and illicit timber trade. He has also
suggested remedial measures^i.

Kirk C. (1994) has elaborated the outcome of Himachal Pradesh Forestry Project initiated by a
multidisciplinary team of consultants engaged by the overseas Development of Administration from the
National Resources Institute and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development.
Deferent specialist contributed to compile this report containing details of socioeconomic setting, forest
development in India, problems of conservation and farming systems^^.

Negi, S.S (1994) in his book entitled Indian Forestry Through the Ages' has traces the history and
development of Indian forestry from the early days to the present. The book discusses the topic of
general history of forestry, history of forest policy, forest legislation, forest management, working plans,
forest research, education and training classification of forests, wildlife and its conservation and
problems of forest protection's.

Sagwal (1995) in his book he has attempted to present a comprehensive details of forest ecology. The
book contains 16 chapters on various aspects like, forest planning, forest problems management that
provide insight on the impact of theses aspects on the living things and the environment'^^.

Shafi, M & M. Raja (1992) have presented the volumes relating to the 'Forest Ecosystems of the World'.
An attempt has been made to focus attention of some of the major issues involved in forest utilization
and management. The papers have been divided into three sections (i) Forest ecosystems and ecology
(ii) Crisis of forest in the developing

" Rawat, A.S., Forest Management in Kumaon Himalaya, Struggle of the Marginalized People,
Indus Publication, New Delhi, 1999.

" Kirk C, Himachal Pradesh Forestry Project, Vol. II, Annexes, FRI Dehradun

" S.S. Negi, Indian Forestry Through the Ages, Indus Publication, New Delhi, 1994.

" Sagwal, S.S., Forest Ecology of India, Pointer Publications, Jaipur, 1995.

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world and (iii) Utilization and management of forest in the developed world. This section examines
various issues involved in the exploitation and management of forest resources in a global ecological
context^s.

Azad, K.C. and R.L. Verma (1994) in their book look care of the important aspects of greening the hills
through afforestation with economic species by mobilizing public-participation. The authors are of the
opinion that development with conservation in the hills can be ensured only though effective public-
participation. The book gives an account of environmental situation in India and importance of forests
and the problems which the forests are facing^^.

Bhatia (2000) in his book which is the outcome of workshop on 'Participatory Forest Management'
covered people centred forest policies that have emerged in many countries of the region and their
objective of supporting and strengthening participatory forest management to ensure that the needs of
mountain people is participation and they need strong support to cope with forest related problems
like, deforestation, overgrazing and forest fire^'^.

Besera, H.S & L Rawat (1999) made investigation that the rapid expending population during last few
decades has led to the increasing pressure on the limited land resources, faculty land use and wrong
management practices like overgrazing, deforestation and forest fires. Then there is the need of
conserving ecological resources and choice of species should be such that are capable conserving and
cater the local needs in terms of fuel, fodder and the forest produce is sustained manner^s.

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" Shafi M «& M. Roza, Forest Ecosystems of the World, Rawal Publishers, Jaipur, 1992.

'* Azad K.C. & R.L. Verma, Horticultural Forestry: Solution to Many ills of Hills, Minerva Book House,
Shimla, 1994.

' ' Bhatia, 'Participatory Forest Management Implications for Policy and HRD in Hindu Kush
Himalaya, Vol. I, icimod Nepal.

'* Desera, H.S. & L Rawat, Eco-Restoration Using Agro Forestry Intervention in Degraded Lands with
Particular Reference to Gashcutmaley, 1999.

Desai (1991) has conducted a study on forest management in India and issues relating to it and
problems like deforestation, forest fires etc. Author explained that forests play a vital role in the
ecological balances as habitats for flora and fauna, anchors for soils and tamers of climates. Forests
constitute one of the problems of forest management in India^^.

Ompal Shanna in his study conducted on 'Forest Administration in Himachal Pradesh' has analysed
qualitatively the forest policy and forest organisation in terms of people participation in local forestry
schemes. In the end he has suggested that the active participation of the people is must for the success
of any programme. He has described the problems faced by the forests of Himachal Pradesh'*o.

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P.C. Roy in his paper has tried to analyse the forest and wild land fires issue with particular reference to
South East Asia and emphasizes on development of National and Regional fire management plans
considering the complexity and diversity of fire. The paper also attempts to assess the current status of
applications of satellite remote sensing for fire detection monitoring and assessment. It can be
considered the best study in the direction of forest fire management'*^

There is a dire need to conduct more and more research on the issue and write more new things on the
issue of forest fire management so that this will further research.

Need of the Study

Fire situation in India is alarming. The forests in recent times have been subjected to tremendous
pressure not only from natural

" Desai, V. Forest Management in India, Issues and Problems, Himalayan Publishing House, New
Delhi, 1991.

"^ Ompal Sharma, Doctoral Research Conducted on Himachal Pradesh Forest Administration, H.P.
University, Vol. I, IIHS.

P.C.Roy, Forest Fire and Degradation Assessment Using Satellite Remote Sensing And Geographic
Information System, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, pp 361-400.

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calamities but also from human interference such as forest fires. The incidence of fire in the country is
considerably very high, the main trend over the last ten years are an increase in the number of forest
fires. There is no focus on fire in India. There is no clear fire strategy or planning regarding it statistical
data on forest fires where available are either skeletal or unreliable. No system exists for fire weather
forecasting danger rating fire reporting or preventive measures apart from some basic fire line clearance
and prescribed burning on plantation boundaries. India's forest deserves a full fledged fire management
structure without studying and going in-depth in this field one cannot find solution regarding forest
fires. More and more research is needed to be conduct on this issue. The time has gone when common
people used to see for development functions to top government and they were out of reach. Now the
scenario has been totally changed and power are vested in local institutions. This study will help to draw
the guidelines to national and state forest fire prevention and control guidelines, which will identify the
vulnerable areas of forest fires maps and creation of data bank on forest fires, evolving fire danger,
provision for a crisis or disaster management group and efficient enforcement of legal provision. Thus, it
is essential that original research specific for India conditions to be conducted. Himachal Pradesh is that
Himalayan state of Indian which is rich in natural resources and vegetation. Forest are the important
assets of the economy. But during previous few years the state is affected by forest fires due to various
causes. Therefore there was a dire need to conduct a specific study on this problem.

Objectives of the Study

Forest fire management depends on a strong policy matters and legal framework, clear management
goals and effective long term planning. Forest fire prevention policies need an effective forest
management and sufficient sources, public awareness, education and

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training programmes. Forest fires affect the people, property and natural resources in India,

The present study was based upon following objectives:

1. To examine the organizational setup of the forest department and other related agencies
toward fired prevention in Himachal Pradesh.

2. To analyse the compositionand role of the policy making organs regarding forest fire
management in Himachal Pradesh.

3. To identify the causes behind forest fires.

4. To examine the role of different agencies like Panchayati Raj

institutions and other agencies. _ ^

5. To evaluate the role of people in forest fire management.

6. To suggest effective mga.sure to improve forest fire management in Himachal Pradesh.

Limitation of the Study

The present study has been conducted in Himachal Pradesh. Four regions were selected for this purpose
namely Nahan, Solan, Shimla and KuUu, because due to the constraints time and resources it was not
possible to study the universe. The period covered in the study was range from 1991 onwards. The
selection of the period of the period was guided by the availability of the data. The study was limited to
the Forest Departments, Fire Brigade, Homegaurd and other Agencies of selected districts. Among other
agencies NGOs, PRIs, Mahila Mandal, Youth Groups and students of schools and colleges were selected.

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Hypothesis

It was hypothesised for the present study that

• Forest fires incidences has been increasing during the last decade in the state of Himachal
Pradesh due to the socio-economic reasons.

• There was lack of forest fires policies, adequate technologies and technical experts to tackle or
manage the forest fires.

• There was lack of coordination and communication between different departments and
agencies regarding forest fire management in Himachal Pradesh.

• Therewas/lack of prevention and reh^bilijtatwn schemes for the affected community in


Himachal Pradesh.

• There was lack of p^ple's participation and awareness in forest { fire protection in the rural
community in the state of Himachal /

Pradesh./

Methodology

The present study was on primary and secondary sources.

(a) Primary Sources:

The opinion of the different officials were collected with the help of a structured questionnaire who
were engaged in the protection of forest fires in different circles of the Forest Department. Different
areas Himachal Pradesh that were selected for the present study were Nahan, Solan, Shimla and KuUu.
To know the role of different agencies regarding forest fire management questionnaires were also filled
up from relating NGOs, members of PRIs, Fire Brigade and Respondents of Home Guards in the different
selected regions. Besides this, questionnaires were also distributed amon g local communities and got
knowledge about

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people participation in forest fire management. The questionnaires were randomly several in different
areas to different agencies.

Interview:

Additional data were gathered with the help of indepth interviews with the other officials of all levels in
different relating department or agencies in Himachal Pradesh.

(b) Secondary Sources:

For the present study secondary data were collected from the various publications such as journals.
Articles and memorandum, reports of central and state governments. Different research institutes were
also visited such as Forest Research of India, Forest Survey of India Dehradun, Himalayan forest
Research Institute Shimla and other.

Selection of the Sample

The study consisted of a total sample 0^^500^;otfSOO^/The sample was divided into three groups. The
first group consisted of 25 respondents each from four selected areas i.e. Nahan, Solan, Shimla and
Kullu. The respondents were from the Forest Departments of the selected areas. The second group
consisted of 50 respondents each from the areas under present study. This group consisted of NGOs,
Fire Brigade, PRIs, Home Guard and Mahila Mandal. The third group comprised of 50 respondents each
from the selected areas under study which belonged to different people from communities.

Data Analysis

Conclusions & Suggestions


Men live in the disaster prone world. There are two types of
disaster, natural and man-made. Sometimes natural disasters are
forced by man-made disasters, such as occurring of earthquake,

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due to volcanic eruption, flood is forced by soil erosion and global


warming is due to deforestation, industrialization and forest fires. It
has been proved by researches that in the world 88 percent
disasters are due to human interference in nature. It disrupts the
basic fabric and normal functioning of a society. It is events that
always cause destruction with it.
The world is standing over natural resources. Natural
resources provide life to the human being no matter where they are
residing in any corner of the world. From morning to evening men
The importance of forests for sustainable development is still
not granted the attention it deserves, as evidenced the continually
high annual rate of forest destruction in the form of deforestation
and forest fires. Forest fires are very common in many places
around the world. Forest fire is the common feature in summer
season in various countries of the world. It is found from the
present study that fires are particularly prevalent in the summer
and during droughts when fallen branches, leaves and other
material can dry out and become highly inflammable. Some
researches has shown that global warming has been increasing the
intensity and frequency of droughts in many areas, creating more
intense and frequent forest fires. There are so many countries which

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have to face forest fires annually such as United States, Canada,


Sydney, Brazil, Australia, Germany, Spain, Italy and other
countries. India is one of them which suffer from this problem
annually. During the research it was found that forest fires are a
major cause of degradation of India's forests.
It is found that statistical data on fire loss are weak. It can be
estimated that the proportion of forest area are prone to forest fires
annusdly ranges from 33% in some states and 80% in other. In India
fire season normally vary from January to June in the plains of
northern and in central part of the country most of the forest fires
occur between February and June. India is a vast country with
geographical area between 3,287,263 Km^. It has 22.00 percent of
its geographical area under forest cover, and the forests have been
classified into 16 forest types. The National Forest Policy lays down
that forest should cover two third of the geographical area. Total
forest area of Himachal Pradesh is 37,591 km2, in Himachal Pradesh
forests are also being destroyed by the forest fires. Due to forest
277
fires lakhs of properties are lost annually. It is found during
research that at least 10,000 to 12,000 hectare area of forest is
burned every year and maximum of them due to intentional fires.

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Among man made causes human negligence, setting the fire


deliberately and lack of awareness are most. Forest fire is a calamity
for forests in view of the fact that the damage caused by harmful
insects and diseases of wood taken together. Forest fires retend the
vital activity of forests crops, subsequently encouraging the
multiplication of pests and fungal diseases. Forest fire is a major
cause of forest degradation and has adverse ecological, economic
and social impacts. One of the worst examples of forest fires is in
1977-78 that released more carbon into the atmosphere than
Western Europe emits in a year.
It is also seen that the vulnerability of forests to fires varies
from place to place depending upon the type of vegetation and
climate condition. The forests of Himalayan region are in danger.
The time has come to take action otherwise it will create great
problem. There is a need of a particular organisational structure
regarding to deal with this issue.
In any organisational structure there is a requirement of a
proper objective, people, budget and equipments. It is rightly said
that an organisation is the arrangement or structure of the
relationship, power, objectives, roles, activities, communication and
other factors and most important factor is people who work in

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organisation. The existence of organisation is essential in this sense


because individuals are limited in their physical and mental
capabilities.
278
Organisational structure to tackle the forest fire management
in India was also studied. It seems that there is no particular
department or agency in India made for only to deal with forest fires.
In India there is Ministry of Environment and Forests which deals
with the forest related matters. It gives direction to State and Union
Territories' Forest Department to protect and conserve the forests.
There are other Non-Governmental Agencies in India which work for
the protection and conservation of forests. Food and Agriculture
Organisation is an international Agency which work on time to time
for conservation of natural resources. It has started a project in
India named 'Forest Fire Control Method in India' and two areas
Chandrapur in Maharashtra and Haldwani in Uttar Pradesh was
chosen for the study and after conducting a project International
consultants team of FAO gave a detailed report the "Fire Situation In
India is Alarming". There is no focus on forest fire in India. To tackle
or manage the forest fires training at all level are required. There is
no clear fire strategy or an awareness of strategic planning. In this

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regard the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of


India proposed to dispose of two helicopters. The centrally
sponsored scheme Introduction of Modern Forest Fire Control
Methods in India' launched in 1992-93 with the objectives to control
forest fire with a view of conservation, to improve productivity of
forest by reducing the extent of forest fires, and to find out principal
technique of prevention, detection and under this scheme 100%
control assistance is provided to the states.
In the state there is Forest Department which is responsible
for forest related work. But there is lack of adequate funds for the
proper care, maintenance and protection of the forests. In Himachal
Pradesh the Department of Forest has taken various tools and
279
techniques to check the fires and the result has been achieved. In
the Forest Department there are different officials like Principal
Chief Conservator, Conservator of Forests Monitoring 8B Evaluation,
who are every time in touch with the policies and planning
strategies of forest fires. Monitoring and Evaluation wing of forest is
situated in Sunder Nagar. It collects all types of information and
reports from the Forest Departments and other forest relating
agencies.

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District Forest Officers, Block Officers and Range Officers look


after the forests in their jurisdiction. Forest Guards work in Local
forest areas. In Himachal Pradesh around 2500 Forests Guards are
working presently. It is the duty of Forest Guards to inform about
the forest fire to higher authorities and control room. Forest Guard
is the link between the local community and higher authorities.
During fire season in Himachal Pradesh fire watchers are appointed
to look out the fires, and help the Forest Guards. In hilly areas on
the top watch tower has been made in different places. It is
considered essential to the Forest Guard to attend the 'Gram Sabha
Meeting' which is organized on 6'^ April in the state before fire
season. Through this meeting concerned Forest Guard inform about
the new policies of Forest Department regarding forest fires
prevention and management. It is Forest Guard who inform about
the social forestry scheme to the villagers and ensure their
participation in it.
Action is based on the policies and planning strategies. Policy
is a statement or intents or objectives that Government sets out. It
depicts what to do and how to do and by whom? It is a set of
instructions from policy makers to policy implementers. India has a
280

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Forest Policies since 1894. The nature of all Forest Policies is


protection, conservation and development of forests. After making
review of these Forest Policies, Joint Forest Management Cell was
established in the Forest Protection Division of the ministry of
Environment & Forests. Forest Development Agencies have been
created at the District and as a federation of the village level in
which participation of Forest Department and local community is
ensured.
Forest Survey of India was created under the Ministry, on the
recommendations of the National Commission on Agriculture. It is
responsible for collecting data scientifically on country wide
comprehensive forest resources at regular interval. It is primary
responsible for generating information and data base on forest cover
and forest resources in the country.
Integrated Forest Protection Scheme was formulated by
merging two schemes, forest fire control and secondary
management. The scheme gets 100 percent financial assistance
from the Central Government and is proposed to be extended to all
the States and Union Territories during the Tenth Five Year Plan.
The exact policies on forest fires are very rare in the Indian
Forest Act of 1927. There is insufficient detail of forest fire which

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considered the setting of fires a punishable offence. The National


Forest Policy 1988 also lays emphasis on forest protection against
encroachment, grazing and fire. It recommended on the adoption of
modern fire management practices. It took to the National
Guidelines on forest fires, which was issued in 2000. The emphasis
is given in it to the importance of community involvement in forest
281
fire prevention and control with the help of Joint Forest
Management Programme.
In the XI World Forestry Congress which was organized by
FAO was given emphasis that there should be National and Regional
policies to deal with this issue. Forest fire is a matter of social
concern. There is Indian Forest Act in which setting fire to reserve
forest is punishable under section 26(1) and imprisonment of six
months or fine up to rupees 500, similarly provisions are under
section 33(1) that of fire is caused willfully or by gross negligence
will be punished.
In Himachal Pradesh Fire Management Action has been
started and in that plan about 6400 Km^ of forest area which is fire
susceptible has been selected. At least 85 Panchayats have been
selected across the state and from forest fires have been included in

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the micro plans of these Panchayats. When feedback was done by


the Monitoring and Evaluation very little was done on this regard.
The Monitoring and Evaluation system takes care of all types
of forests. The effort which was recently done on this issue was that
active involvement of JFMC is very important in this regard. It has
been made essential for the Forest Guard, Deputy Ranger and
Range Forest Officer to attend the meeting of Gram Sabha and
explain the measures being taken by the Department. They should
also explain the law of the forest fire. Forest fires which will be more
than 5 hac, will be inspected by DFOs concerned, for this control
rooms will be established. A rapid response team will be established
at Divisional Range level which will be always ready to deal with this
problem. Help of Doordarshan, Radio and Newspapers will be also
considered for this purpose. Meetings by Conservator of Forests will
282
be organized in time to time, help of other Departments like Police,
Fire Brigade, Homeguard and other agencies will be taken.
After analyzing the structure and policy to control the forest
fires it can be said that forest fire policy is not proper and sufficient.
Forest fire incidences have been increasing, although Himachal
Pradesh Government has taken initiative through various schemes.

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At National level there are no proper Guidelines and Planning


strategies to deal with this issue. Himachal Pradesh Government
has established a Bio Credit Carbon Project with the help of the
people which will be benefited for environmental conservation and
promotion. Through Sanjhi Van Yojana communities will be directly
involved in this. State Government has started such kind of
schemes in which maximum participation of women has been
ensured. These above mentioned schemes and other schemes like it
will provide benefit to the community for the conservation of the
forest. Policies and management should be clear to all and it should
be build according to situation. Little attention is being paid to
introduction of equipment and machinery. No assessment has been
made as how much land in India is under fire lines. People are not
only required to take precautions but they are also required to do
work for suppression.
In India prescribed burning has been in use. Proper planning
and execution is therefore necessary. Early Warning System is also
the method of forest fire management. In Early Warning System
there is fire danger rating. It provides guidelines to plan the forest
fire activities by making assessment of the probability of occurrence
of forest fires. Fire detection is done with the help of remote sensing,

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and satellite borne sensors. National Remote Sensing Agency has


283
developed a system named (INFFRAS) Indian Forest Fires Response
and Assessment System. There are satellites named MODIS, NOAA
and DMSP-OLS and AATSAR being used daily for forest fire
monitoring. The fire products derived from MODIS have been
validated with the ground observation and multi satellite data by
National Remote Sensing Agency. Except these programmes there
are other programmes which are being used in India. For detection
of forest fires in India, the use of 'Lookouts' and Ground Patrol is
being used. Aerial detection is not yet prevalent in India it was only
used for experiment in 1985-90.
In Himachal Pradesh only Hand Tools are used for fire control.
These are shovel axes, Pulaski, rake, brush hook etc. These are
used to make fire lines, in hilly area like Himachal it is very tough to
reach exact forest fire location. Government is trying to make use of
aircrafts in management of forest fires, but this method is very
expensive.
In India for forest fire control and prevention the role of Forest
Department is very significant. But there are other Agencies such as
Non-Governmental Organisations, Fire Brigade, Homeguard and

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local community which are also taking initiative gradually. Whether


these agencies were properly aware about forest fires to know about
it present study was conducted in the Himachal Pradesh's four
regions of Himachal Pradesh has been selected for the study, named
Nahan, Solan, Shimla and KuUu. These areas has been selected on
the basis of fire susceptible areas of Himachal Pradesh. The sample
consisted of Forest Department of the selected regions, NonGovernment
Organisations, fire Brigade, Local communities. Among
local communities Self Help Groups, Mahila Mandals and
284
Panchayati raj Institutions has been interviewed and collected the
data through questionnaires. Different questions were asked to
know their awareness level and view points about this issue. On the
basis of their view points following conclusion has been drawn:
Making plan is a most important part in the process of any
system. It is clear from the present study that Forest Department
makes plan for forest fire prevention and control. Forest Department
take the initiative to tackle all the problems relating ta protection
and conservation of forests with the help of other agencies.
In Himachal Pradesh man-made causes were the reasons
behind forest fires. Among them fires set by children for fun, for

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grass, and other causes like throwing of bidis, cigarettes were the
most. People were in the belief that nothing will be happen due to
forest fires, and there is no harmful effect of forest fires. It shows
that community is not aware about the harmful and bad impact of
forest fires due to lack of knowledge about this.
It has been also observed from the study that although there
were provisions in the mandate of Forest Department but these are
not sufficient to meet this challenge. It can be said here that when
these provisions were made the cases of forest fires were different in
India, but the impact of forest fires is more harmful in the present
scenario. In the mandate even duties or responsibilities are not
clarified. There is a need to evaluate and make an amendment in
these provisions.
The study reveals that each and every official is responsible
for forest fire management in their particular jurisdiction. Fire
Watchers are appointed in the fire season. It has been noticed from
285
this study that strength of the staff of the Forest Department has
not increased to that extent as human pressure increased on forest
and other natural resources. One or two Forest Guards are not
sufficient to look after the forest. There is a need to increase the

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forest staff. Forest Department follows various kinds of practices to


control or prevent forest fires, like cutting and maintenance of fire
lines, construction of watch towers and other methods. In Himachal
Pradesh, Department of Monitoring and Evaluation gets the satellite
data and relating to forest fires. There is an urgent need to use more
advanced technologies to deal with this problem.
The officials of the Forest Department gave the opinion that
local community should be involved in this issue. During the fire
incidence sometimes they assist the Forest Department and
sometime not. It can be said here on the basis of observations of
this study that in most of the cases local community assist only
when if there is the possibility of their personal loss from the forest
fires. This question is related to human psychology here that how
much we are caring about our natural resources, if we are getting
something from it then we take initiative to do in this regard
otherwise we consider it secondary. There should be the feeling of
belongingness towards these resources. People with this kind of
attitude will be more sensitive towards environmentgd protection.
It has been also noticed from the study that funds are not
sufficient for the management of forest fires. It happens sometimes
in the developing countries that lack of sufficient for the

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management of forest fires create problems. There is a need to


acquire more funds to solve this problem. Central assistance in the
form of financial aid and guidance is needed.
286
Forest fires causes destruction causing heavy losses to
properties and heavy amount has been lost to this. Forest
Department has required multidisciplinary effort in this issue.
Forest Department use various technical equipments for fighting
fries. There is a need to introduce more new technologies and for
this proper training should be provided to the forest's staff.
Over the years there has been no changes done in the policies
and there is a need of making changes regarding the guidelines,
forest staffs and role of community. There is lack of incentives to
forest officials, there should be certain provisions such as incentives
extra benefits for the forest officials so that they are motivated and
take keen interest to protect forests.
From the present study it is inferred that there is a need of
setting up Village Forest Committies, Village Youth Volunteer
Groups and involve the school and college going students in forest
fire prevention and control. They should be formally involved in this
regard. It is needed to conduct research in this issue the same were

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the view points of selected respondents of Forest Department. It can


be said after judging the overall working of Forest Department that
Forest Department is working well according to the guidelines, and
existing planning strategies but it needs to have multidisciplinary
actions and holistic approach to tackle with this problem.
Multidisciplinary action means all the agencies such as NGOs, Fire
Brigade, Homeguard, PRIs, Mahila Mandals and local communities
should come ahead and do work with coordination.
There are so many agencies in Himachal Pradesh for the
welfare of the people. These agencies are made for the services of the
public. These agencies are mentioned earlier, to know their role in
287
forest fire management lots of questions were asked from them
informal discussion was also made with them with the objective to
find out their participation and awareness level for forest fire
management. It is noted that members were aware that forest fire
was serious problem and man made causes were the main reason
behind it. Forest fires upset the natural composition of the forests,
create many problems according to the respondents.
It can be said that people of each organisation and agencies
are aware about the seriousness and consequence of forest fires. In

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Himachal Pradesh there is a need of fire protection agency which


can help to solve this problem, by making forest fire control
committees in the forest fire prone areas. At present there is no
forest fire protection agency in the state.
It has been confirmed from the views of the local communities
that during fire incidences no agency come to help and extinguish
the fires. Local people with the help of each other and by traditional
equipment like water, grass stick and soil control the fires. It is very
rarely that Forest Department come to help. Except Forest
Department no agency come to help. It can be concluded from this
view that it is not possible for the Forest Department to control or
suppress the fire in each area of the village. Forest Department can
help according to the available staff and technologies. It is the local
community only which can do best in this regard.
It was also observed from the study that there is lack of
financial assistance to these agencies. It can be said that Central or
State Government should provide financial assistance to these
agencies. These agencies should start projects or conduct research
on this issue. It will help in identifying the problem and solution.
288
Very few agencies in Himachal Pradesh take initiative to work in the

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field of environmental conservation and protection and no doubt,


Government is helping these agencies for example in India Ministry
of Culture and Environment promotes these kinds of functions and
help the NGOs to conduct project or research on this kind of issues.
That's why these agencies are very close to people and environment.
It can be said on the basis of this study that people were
interested in setting up of such kind of industries in the village
which could minimize the forest fires incidences. It can help in
generating the employment opportunity only in the villages. These
agencies should think in this regard, presently they are not doing
anything in this regard. Infact they do not have the knowledge and
also lack of encouragement.
Socio economic aspects are also the causes behind forest fires
that has been proved by the study. Among socio-economic causes
there are population, poverty, Illiteracy and ignorance. Some time
people set fires due to these aspects and in study areas these
causes also prevailed.
It was also judged from the views of the selected respondents
that people also want international effort in this regard.
International Agencies relating to environment and forest fires
should also be involved to take mutual decision to tackle with this

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problem.
It was noted that JFM programmes has been very successful
in this matter. In Himachal Pradesh JFM programmes require
support of the government and community. People have desired for
289
the need of a Crisis Management Group, and Government is making
effort in this regard.
It is clear from the respondents views that NGOs work for the
betterment of society. In Himachal Pradesh there were also Self Help
groups which were working well, in forest fires management.
In India forest resources are exploited by the men and women
for the use of their daily needs. Mostly women have to deal with the
forest work from morning to evening. They are fully aware about the
use of natural resources. They can educate the children and the
family to protect and conserve the forests.
It has been depicted from the study conducted in four
districts that there is a need to involve educational institutions in
forest fire management. There is a need of giving them proper
training that how to tackle with this kind of problems. Educational
Institution can organize the awareness programmes during fire
season and they should have given the responsibility of fire noticing.

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It can be said on the basis of the present study that there is


lack of coordination and communication during forest fires. It is the
important question before the community that whom should they
inform first? Communication and coordination are the important
factor which helps in gathering the different people and other
organisation to help and support each other during crises.
One the whole, it is concluded from the opinion survey that in
Himachal Pradesh forest fire incidences has been increasing
annually there are different agencies which are keen to work in this
regard but they need to have proper encouragement or support.
290
It is concluded tha t forest fire control and prevention system
of Himachal Pradesh does not appear to be strong. There seem to
exist confusion among all channels. There is a need to provide
proper platform for forest fire management agencies.
TESTING OF HYPOTHESIS
The present study was based upon following hypothesis
• Forest fires incidences has been increasing during the last decade in
the state of Himachal Pradesh due to the socio-economic reasons.
After the study this hypothesis has been proved to be true that forest
fire incidences have been increasing during the last decade in the

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State of Himachal r*radesh due to the socio-economic reasons.


• It was hj^othesised that there is lack of forest lires policies,
adequate technologies and technical experts to tackle or manage the
forest fires.
This hypothesis has also been proved to be true.
• It was hypothesised that there is lack of coordination and
communication between different Departments and Agencies
regarding forest fire management in Himachal Pradesh.
After the study this hypothesis was proved to be accurate.
• It was hypothesised that there is lack of prevention and
rehabilitation schemes for the affected community in Himachal
Pradesh.
It has been proved after the study that this hypothesis is true.
• It was also hypothesised that there is lack of people's participation
and awareness in forest fire protection in the rural community in the
State of Himachal Pradesh.
291
This hypotJiesis also has been proved accurate after conducting the
study.
It can be said that all the above hj^othesis have been found
accurate.

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Suggestions
The present study was conducted to know about the
awareness level among people about the impacts of forest fires and
to know about the policy and planning strategies of the government
to deal with the forest fires. After drawing some conclusions on the
basis of viewpoints of respondents some suggestions are given here:
• In Himachal Pradesh forest fire incidences are increasing
annually, it is very important to know the reasons behind it
that why it is increasing and mainly who are responsible
for it in the most of the cases.
• After getting knowledge about the reasons behind forest
fires people should be make aware regarding the value of
forests, it needs to be protected like their own houses and
fields. Each and every person should be made aware that
any activity of them should not result in the form of forest
fires. It has been seen during the survey that man-made
causes were the most behind forest fires. It should be
always kept in mind that these resources are our
resources. There should be the feeling of belongingness
towards these. If someone notices any kind of sparking he
should at once suppress the fires otherwise it will be

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spread in all over the forest. If the person is not able to


control the fires at that time he or she should immediately
292
inform the Forest Department and till they arrive, they
should take the help of local people.
• It has been observed that there was lack of proper forest
fire management structure in Central and State level.
There should be proper structure in which duties and
responsibilities should be clarified to all. Each and every
person of Forest Department should have knowledge about
their duties regarding forest fire management.
• Data and facts about the forest fires are not available, if
somewhere available, are scattered. There should be proper
way to keep the data of forest fire incidences in which
causes, impacts and number of fire incidences and area
should be mentioned. So that knowledge about forest fires
can be collected easily.
• Study reveals that there is lack of proper forest fire policies
and planning strategy in India. Very little is written to deal
with this problem in Indian Forest Policies. There is a dire
need to make changes in these policies according to time.

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There should be proper rules and guidelines and


responsibilities of people from all walks of life. What
punishment will be given to the offenders and who will
decide it, all should be mentioned in those policies.
• While making the policies and programmes experts of
environment, politicians, economists should be involved in
this process. Forest fire policies structure of different
countries should be studied and analysed and if possible
and suitable should be applied in Indian context.
293
• For fire prevention, detection and suppression advance or
new technology should be adopted. Equipment should not
be heavy, the use of light weighted equipment should be
done which will be easy to carry.
• Forest Fire Protection Wing should be established at the
State level under which forest fire control committees
should be established in different regions.
• Forest Fire Management is not the isolated function of one
Department, it is an integrated effort of different agencies.
• NGOs have to study a vital role in the field of research,
survey, documentations, awareness programmes, resource

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mobilization and capacity building in local institutions.


They should start forest fire awareness programmes and
projects.
• Developing environment friendly behavior and positive
attitude and values among local leadership and
community, is the need of hour to make the whole
community conscious about the eco system and ecological
balance.
• At local level Panchayati Raj Institutions should be made
aware regarding their powers that there are such
provisions in Constitution that PRIs can make resolution
and ask for more funds to tackle with this problem.
Members of Panchayati Raj Institutions should educate the
people regarding the consequences of forest fires. There
should be provisions of incentives and awards in the
294
villages to the person who will inform about the offenders
and protectors of forest fires.
• The help of Remote Sensing Agency should be taken. There
is innovation of new technology like Aerial Rating System
and Satellites which send the photographs of forest fires

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and imparts daily information about the forest fires. Aerial


Rating System makes prediction of forest fires on the basis
of temperature and climate condition. It can help in fire
prevention.
• Government should start new forest conservation schemes,
like afforestation or plantation programme and such forest
protection projects which can generate income. Bio Carbon
Credit Project is one of the best example in this regard.
• People should possess eco-friendly behavior. Each and
every one should live very friendly with the environment.
• There should be Village Youth Volunteer Group such as
Yuvak Mandals, Forest Fire Control Group and other Youth
Clubs should also be involved in this problem.
• Waste material in the land or fields should be burned very
carefully otherwise fire will spread to the nearby forests.
• The people who control and prevent forest fires should
keep most of things in mind. In case of huge forest fires
local people should help the Forest Department. Each and
every fire fighter should have knowledge about fire
behavior. It will help to control the fire very easily.
295

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• While fighting with the fire very high temperature and


harmful rays of it, smoke of the fire and dehydration
problem, direction of the air, availability of the fuel and
rapidly spreading of the fire, it makes forest fires very
terrible. It should be always keep in mind.
• There should be proper watch on forest fires, because it
spreads from different sides.
• Written order should be taken from Forest Guard for
fighting the forest fires.
• Before extinguishing the forest fires all the things should
be collected like map of that area and written permission of
concerned officer. Otherwise it can create problem later.
During fire incidence one should be informed and kept in
touch with the concerned officer.
• All the members of fire fighting team should work together
. and keep the link with each other.
• Direction of blowing wind should always be kept in mind
because the fire spreads quickly in the direction of wind.
• During fire season Forest Guards should be provided
mobiles for the connectivity. Although in the State recently
this scheme has been started and Rs. 300 is given to the

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Forest Guards for mobiles so that the)^ could inform the


authority on time and make the connectivity with the
people.
• During rainy season water reservoirs should be built in the
different places in the forest fire suspected areas. The
296
water of those reservoirs can be used during fire incidents.
These types of schemes have been started in some states in
India.
• To generate awareness among the community, Government
should start forest fire awareness campaigns before fire
seasons.
• It has been seen that in India the tendency of depending
upon the Government is common. We think that
Government should take initiative to solve the problems.
Community should recognize their potentialities of taking
initiatives.
• A positive attitude among the members of Panchayati Raj
Institutions will have positive effect towards the solution of
any problem.
• The help of local leadership can be taken in this issue

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because they are capable to combat this problem. There is


a need of giving them a little attention regarding the
awareness and provide knowledge to them, so that a feeling
of self confidence come in their mind.
• Except local leadership, involvement of different wings like
NCC, NSS and Scouts can provide their active service in
dealing with this problem in rural areas. They should
provide training to tackle the situation. They should set
camps near the forests. These wings should be assigned
duties during fire season.
297
• Lastly there is an urgent need of setting up of Forest Fire
Research Institution in State. It will conduct research in
State level. It will be the function of this institution to
conduct research on forests, problems and on everything
relating to forests. So that it can intimate people about the
problem of forests.
There is a need to take actions on these suggestions so that it
can help in forest fire management.

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