Several pictures are being shared on social media with a claim that they show the latest forest fires in the State of Uttarakhand. Let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Photos of the latest forest fires in Uttarakhand.
Fact: The posted photos are not related to the latest forest fires in Uttarakhand. While there are some forest fires in Uttarakhand currently, their spread is not as much when compared to the reported incidents during the corresponding period last year. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
The photo is on the internet at least since August 2013 with the description that it was taken in the US.
This photo is also related to a forest fire in the US. It is not related to India. The photo was taken in 2011.
The same photo can be found in an article published by ‘The Indian Express’ in 2016. The photo was taken in Himachal Pradesh.
While the source of the fourth photo in the post was not found, it was found that many other photos were also being shared with a similar claim. ‘PIB in Uttarakhand’ tweeted that those photos are also not related to the recent forest fires in Uttarakhand.
As the photos went viral with claims that Uttarakhand is in crisis, the Chief Minister of the State and ‘PIB in Uttarakhand’ tweeted that, as on 25 May 2020, the forest fire coverage is around 80 hectares i.e. only 5% of what it was during the corresponding period last year. So, it is not as big a crisis as it is being portrayed on social media.
Various forest and police officials have also tweeted asking people not to believe the rumours. For more information on forest fires in India, FACTLY’s articles can be read here and here.
To sum it up, these photos are not related to the latest sporadic forest fires in Uttarakhand.
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