A major fire in the forests at Ahirikot in Srinagar, Uttarakhand state, India, Monday, May 2, 2016. Image source: Press Trust of India
It’s the highest mountain range in the world. Featuring peaks that scrape the sky, dwindling glaciers, and lush forests, these gentle giants are essential to the prosperity and stability of one of Asia’s greatest lands. For rainwater and glacial melt flowing out of the Himalayas feeds the rivers that are the very life-blood of India and her 1.25 billion people.
Massive wildfires that have killed at least seven people in recent weeks were burning through pine forests in the mountains of northern India on Monday, including parts of two tiger reserves.
But in 2016, amidst what is likely to be the most intense period of extreme heat to ever impact India, the Himalayas are burning.