Giving a reality check to netizens who broke Twitter with the hashtag ‘Pray For Uttarakhand‘, the state’s Forest Department cautioned against fake pictures claiming to be of forest fires in Uttarakhand. Belonging to Chile and some dating as back as taken in 2016, the Uttarakhand Forest Department asked people to to be cautious about what they share as they clarified the fake news.Also Read - 35 Pakistan-Based YouTube Channels, 2 Websites Blocked For Spreading Fake News. Details Here
Taking to their Twitter handle, Uttarakhand Forest Department shared proofs of the same and netizens were in for a shock. Sharing the clippings with the date and place, when and where the pictures were taken, the department tweeted, “Fake news of forest fire 2020 in Uttarakhand are being circulated on social media. 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 (sic).” Also Read - Fact Check: Did You Get An E-mail By RBI Offering Rs 4.62 Crores? Know The Truth Behind It
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On the other hand, a video on Twitter showed Parag Madhukar, Conservator, Forest Dept stating that there were “no massive forest fires in Uttarakhand” instead, it had “rained in some parts of the state today.” He too pointed out about the pictures of Chile forest fires in 2016 being shared across social media as that of Uttarakhand forest fire.
As per reports, Uttarakhand has been burning for the last four days with 46 forest fires reported in the state so far. A maximum of 21 wildfires has been reported from Kumaon region while the Garhwal region and the reserve forest areas in the state have witnessed 16 and nine wildfires reportedly.
Netizens shared horrifying visuals of the tragedy and appealed to the authorities to save their forests which resulted due to the rising temperatures. It was claimed that the fires have destroyed nearly over 71 hectares of forest covers and caused tremendous loss of flora and fauna in the last four days.