2,500 hectares lost to Bandipur–Nagarahole forest fires

2,500 hectares lost to Bandipur–Nagarahole forest fires

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India: Images captured by the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) remote sensing satellite reveal that nearly 2,500 hectares of land have been destroyed by forest fires at Bandipur and Nagarahole National Parks since they began over a week ago on 13 March. An additional 450 hectares have been ravaged in Bandipur and 70 hectares in Nagarahole in the last three days alone, according to a report published in The Hindu. The images were analysed by the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) in Hyderabad.

The map on ISRO’s geo-portal Bhuvan depicting the damage caused

The NRSC, on being instructed by the Karnataka Forest Department, assessed the fires by studying Terra/Aqua Modis thermal data (to detect active fire) and Resources at 1 and 2 Advanced Wide Field Sensor (to calculate the extent of burnt area). The images have been uploaded on ISRO’s geo-portal Bhuvan.

The report, however, quotes Vinay Luthra, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), stating that the Forest Department estimates the total extent of the damage to be around 620 hectares in total… While Bandipur lost 470 hectares to fire since it began over a week ago, Nagarahole has witnessed a loss of 150 hectares. He also said that ground truthing through global positioning system (GPS) tracking was necessary to corroborate NRSC’s analysis.

Source: The Hindu