Natural vegetation refers to plant communities that have grown naturally without human intervention and have remained undisturbed for extended periods.
In India, various types of vegetation are identified, including:

  • Tropical Evergreen Forests
  • Tropical Deciduous Forests
  • Tropical Thorn Forests and Scrubs
  • Montane Forests
  • Mangrove Forests


Types of Forest Fires:

  • Ground Fires: Burn organic material in the soil slowly, under the vegetation.
  • Surface Fires: Result from the burning of dry leaves, branches, and other ground materials. These spread swiftly, as seen in Himachal Pradesh.
  • Crown Fires: Burn from one tree top to another with intense heat and large flames. These are rare in India.

Increasing Intensity of Forest Fires:

  • The number of forest fire points increased from 8,735 to 42,486 over four weeks in March last year.
  • Forest fires have significantly impacted green cover in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

Causes of Forest Fires

Forest Fire Season:

  • Lasts from November to June in India.
  • Key factors influencing forest fires include temperatures, precipitation, vegetation, and moisture levels.

High Fire Incidence:

  • According to the Forest Survey of India, nearly 36% of India’s forests are prone to frequent fires.
  • Higher incidents are reported in March, April, and May due to the availability of dry biomass (fuel load) after winter and during summer.

Human Factors:

  • Most forest fires are man-made, stemming from agricultural practices and unchecked land-use changes.


Forest fires in India are a growing concern, particularly in hilly regions, due to a combination of natural and human factors.
Effective management and preventive measures are crucial to protect India’s diverse vegetation and mitigate the adverse impacts of forest fires.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish June 10, 2024