The Forest Department officials in Uttarakhand on Wednesday took to social media to clarify that no major forest fires were raging in the state's forests, after old pictures of bushfires went viral on social media, trending along with hashtag 'Pray for Uttarakhand'. In a video that he shared on his Twitter handle, Dr Parag Madhukar Dhanate, the Chief Conservator of Forests at the Uttarakhand Forest Department, noted that many of these pictures that were shared with the hashtag were taken in Chile.
"Recently, there is a huge public outcry over the Uttarakhand Forests Fires with misleading & old images being shared on various social media platforms. The Uttarakhand Forest Department forest fire crews are at the forest fire points dousing the forest fires," said Dhanate, adding that with regular rains in the last few days, the situation was largely under control.
He said that the forest department was regularly monitoring stray and rather small incidents of forest fire through satellite imagery. "The situation in the state is largely under control at the moment," added Dhanate.
Forest fires had broken out on May 23 in the Pauri Garhwal district of the state, following which #PrayforUttarakhand became one of the top trending hashtags on Indian Twitter.