With social media going wild over fake news about forest fire raging in Uttarakhand, the state government had to launch a joint campaign. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat provided clarification on viral post/photograph and the forest department appointed a social media in-charge. Uttarakhand police announced lodging FIR against rumour mongers.
Photographs of forest fire turning wild in Uttarakhand took the attention of netizens and they began making post on social media. Tagging #PrayForUttarakhand, the post began to trend. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said, “#PrayForUttarakhand for right reasons- Check how old photographs are being used to run fake propaganda. Forest fire incidents in hills are common during summer season. Fortunately until 26 May, only 81.16 hectare of area is under fire & this is 5 percent of what it was during same period last year.”
Congress leader Jitin Prasada, Ambassador of Israel to India Ron Malka, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Arushi Nishank were among the persons to make a tweet on the forest fire. On this Uttarakhand forest stated that fake news of forest fire 2020 in Uttarakhand is being circulated on social media. Providing clarification the department said, “After verification of such images it has been found that these images are fake. Few such images are being uploaded by us. It is our request to kindly do not spread fake news.”
The state forest department appointed chief conservator of forest Dr Parag Madhukar Dhakate the social media in-charge of the department. Last year, 1590 hectare land was affected by a forest fire (from 25 April to 25 May), this time 71.46 hectare was affected in the same period.
Dr Parag Madhukar Dhakate said, “There is no active serious forest fire incident in Uttarakhand in the present time. The department is taking pinpoint action on the satellite imaginary on forest fire and forest department staff is defusing flames. The weather is supporting us this year, every week or after 10 days rainfall is taking place, which is helping in maintaining the moisture. And low number of forest fire incident is taking place this time.”