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Forest Fire vulnerability in the face of Climate Change: A case study of eastern Himalayan region, Sikkim, India
Shyamli Singh, Mutup Tashi, Vinod K. Sharma

Last modified: 2017-09-12


Forest fire is one of the recurrent disasters which is frequent in Sikkim, it has been analysed that they are more prevalent in the months of winter months in the state. The paper discusses and analyses the trend of forest fires and  further relate it with the climate variables viz. total annual rainfall, number of rainy days and wetness index. The trend of forest fire and its relation with the climate considerations are analysed from 2004-2016. The data of Forest fire is collected from Forests, Environments, and Wildlife Management department, Government of Sikkim, ENVIS centre whereas the climate data is collected from Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune. Extreme weather events like erratic rainfall, glacial lake outburst flood (GLOFs), drying of springs, lesser snowfall and winter droughts, and forest fire has led to vulnerability and risks to the communities in the mountain region. Such extreme events are more in developing countries both due to the geological location and poor knowledge of disasters and adaptation. It has been analysed that with increasing global temperatures in the wake of Climate Change the forest fires are ascending. It has also been enumerated in the paper that forest fire and Climate change are related which may be human induced as well as natural. It is further highlighted that the forest fire disaster is one of the potential threat to the ecosystem and diversity and suggests short term and long term strategies for sustainable forest management and way forward.


Keywords: Forest fires, Climate Change, wetness index, winter droughts, sustainable forest management, annual rainfall, rainy days


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