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Wildfires may have worsened Doon’s air quality to Delhi levels | India News


DEHRADUN: The avalanche of wildfires earlier this year may have caused Dehradun’s air quality to plummet to the ‘poor category’, where air quality index (AQI) levels range from 201 to 300, during two consecutive months. In March, the AQI was 237 and April 225. This put Dehradun in the same range as Delhi, where the AQI ranged between 190 and 250 during the same period.
“In all likelihood, the increase in pollution in Dehradun in these two months may be related to forest fires, with other factors such as construction sites and vehicular pollution also contributing,” said SP Subudhi, secretary board member. state pollution control.
Rishikesh, a neighbor of Dehradun, also witnessed a poor AQI of 221 during March. The Covid curfew appears to have had little impact on Uttarakhand’s environment this time, unlike the lockdown of the previous year, when air quality in March and April remained in ‘moderate and satisfactory categories’ with AQI levels. between 51 and 200 statewide.
In March, the state lost 868.4 hectares of forest cover in 627 fires, while in April there were 1,807 fires and the loss of 24.18.65 hectares of forest cover. The intensity of this year’s wildfires could be measured by the fact that in April IAF helicopters called from Bareilly to fight Kumaon fires were unable to take off because the smoke was extremely dense.

Times of India