Environment

Heat Wave and Forest Fire

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The global news channels in recent days are telecasting the news of horrific and horrendous European forest fire where apocalyptic blaze is incessantly advancing, engulfing all the objects coming under its path converting it into incinerated thingamabob.

Sitting at a distant place in a different continent, the dreadful ghastly forest fire could be felt from the images running in the television.

The picture shows the night dark sky is filled with unrelentingly raging white fumes and smoke while the vulnerable defenseless trees and shrubs waiting their turn to be get torched by frightening fluorescent yellow fire at the bottom.

The daytime portrait of the European crisis adds another version to the chapter of conflagrations where the blue sky, glowing with hot summer sun, is perpetually supplied with black, gray, and foggy white smoke from below when in fact the dry vegetative coverage is undergoing the procedure of burning with storming yellow and orange flames creating crackling and sputtering sounds of woods.

The inferno blaze is turning down everything into ashes, charcoal or degenerated objects that came its way. The helpless locals paralyzed with fear, flee the place leaving behind their belongings, houses, vehicles, and not to mention public infrastructure, only returning to estimate their loss and lamenting on their luck.

The private loss due to forest fire could be assessed to certain extent ignoring the emotional pain, agony, and sufferings of the victims, but what about the causality of wild animals, dispossession of small insects and their habitat and overall, the damage to the environment?

Forest, the natural carbon sink of earth, is a complex ecological system over a stretch of land area, dominated by vegetative coverage.

The type of forest at a particular place depends on climate, soil, plant, and animal life within the hinterland of that specific place. Based on these factors, the type of forest prevalent throughout the world varies a lot.

Despite the variation in the features of forests, all the jungles provide some basic functions that are intrinsic for the existence of humanity on the earth.

The benevolence of hinterlands makes the essential supply of food, fodder, fuel, medicine and shelter accessible for the human beings.

The woodland acts as an agent of instrument to regulate the environment and it controls the temperature, regulates rain fall and facilitate recharging of aquifers, helps in nourishment, formation, and buildup of soil to support life on this earth.

Other than provisional services and regulating services of the forest, it supports the local ecology for regeneration and growth of new species that has forward linkage of sustaining life on the blue planet.

The greenwood coverage, habitat of multiple species, embrace within itself a complex food web system, a vital element of organic farming in the periphery.

It can be said in a profound way that the presence of forest has till date made human life easier on earth and a corollary of this is, risk and threat to forest ultimately is a risk to the prospect of human society in future.

Presently ongoing European forest fire 2022 is symbolic of a big problem having catastrophic implications in future. The cool and temperate countries like United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain and France etc.

previously where forest fire was an unheard word, baffled the administration and the locals equally. Simultaneously the temperature parameter of many cold countries of the continent, crossed 400c in the summer, creating a dehydrating condition along with the probability of drought in the region.

According to European Commission 19 countries of Europe are critically affected by the 2022 forest fire.

It is a challenging task for fire fighters to restrict the spread of fire due to atmospheric dryness, presence of desiccated hard wood and dried bushes.

Some officials expressed their concern for presence of highly inflammable materials scattered around jungle, symbolic of carelessness of human being, is a major hindrance in controlling the spread of the fire.

Forest fire is a new word for many countries of Europe, but not for the region having tropical, semi-arid climatic conditions like India, Australia and many such countries which is experiencing frequent massive fire in recent years.

The massive forest fire of Australia 2020-21 consumed a large chunk of green coverage of the country along with enumerable wildlife, effectuating a considerable amount of carbon into atmosphere.

The syndrome of forest fire across the globe has increased multiple times in recent years. The cause of such events may be attributed to rise in global temperature, but it is of no doubt that the ignition has been triggered by human activities.

The forest fire of Similipal Bio Reserve, Odisha, 2020-21, is also worth mentioning, that costed a lot of vegetative coverage along with loss of habitat of animal species.

It had a disastrous consequence on the tribals living inside the wildlife protective sanctuary in terms of deprivation of food, fodder, fuel. Along with those destitutions, the tribals were under constant threat of frightened animals in desperate search for safer places.

It is not to mention that the stench of stinking smoke odor that live with them for couple of months generates a sense of unwellness, making them realize at every moment that things are not satisfactory and acceptable.

The forest inhabitants of Similipal Bio Reserve Forest are neither economically sound nor politically assertive.

Their economic, political, and social position fails to garner public attention about their issues and have to suffer silently along with the quest for compensating the loss.

This silence of the bottom layer of the community to crucial events not necessarily resemble with calmness or placidity and need not to be ignored.

On the contrary, the world and the public attention needs to be focused on the mourning of the resourceless poor people for the apocalyptic events along with the disastrous climatic hazards in places like Western European countries as we all need to have a dignified living on this planet earth.

This serves as a wakeup call for each one of us to make this planet a greener and cooler place.

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