These pictures are not from Uttarakhand forest fires

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Claim: Many social media posts are claiming that Uttarakhand forests are undergoing through huge fires and the government is not paying attention to it. The post is circulated with many forest fire images claiming to be from the state of Uttarakhand.

The captions of these viral posts saysWe prayed for Australia, prayed for Amazon .. But for the last 4 days, the forests of Uttarakhand have been under severe fire .. Time to unite to pray for ‘Devbhoomi’ .. O God, millions of animals will be killed, show compassion to your children #UttarakhandForestFire” 

However, these are old images and not linked with Uttarakhand.

TWITTER

Jitin Prasad, (Former Union Minister of State for Steel, Petroleum &Natural Gas , Road Transport & Highways and Human Resource Development. Congress) tweeted the photos (now deleted but archived here)

A lot of users on Twitter are tweeting about the forest fires with a hashtag that is trending called #PrayforUttarakhand and #UttarakhandForestFire.

 

The tweet can be seen here and archive here.

 

The tweet can be seen here and archive  here.

FACEBOOK

The same old images were viral on Facebook too and with captions that read, “Another disaster without cutting the relish of the disastrous 2020. Terrible fire in the forest of #Uttarakhand. Four different fires have happened so far. Approx 5-6 hectares of land has been burned.- sources- #PrayForUttarakhand” with 500 plus shares.

Another disaster without cutting the relish of the disastrous 2020. Terrible fire in the forest of #Uttarakhand. Four…

Posted by Sanah Harbans Chandhoke on Monday, May 25, 2020

 

TRUTH

However, these images being shared on social media platforms are old images and videos and not related to 2020’s forest fires.

Press Information Bureau of Uttarakhand made an official statement about the viral posts stating that these are indeed fake and misleading pictures.

 

The archive is here.

PIB’s tweet translated to English says, “It is being shown in social media that fire is increasing in the forests of Uttarakhand, but the government is not paying attention to it.@PIBFactCheck : The pictures shown are old and many of them belong to other countries. Please beware of such misleading news.”

Along with the PIB, even the official account of Uttarakhand Forest Department tweeted about the same denying the rumours. The tweet read, “Fake news of forest fire 2020 in Uttarakhand are being circulated on social media. After verification of such images it has been found that these images are fake. Few such images are being uploaded by us. It is our request to kindly do not spread fake news.”

It has come to our notice that fake news of forest fire 2020 in Uttarakhand are being circulated on social media…

Posted by Uttarakhand Forest Department on Tuesday, May 26, 2020

 

Both the official handles clearly mentioned that these images are old and also attached proof of old news articles from 2016 and 2017. One image used in the viral post is indeed from Uttarakhand but that forest fire had happened in 2016 as mentioned by Aaj Tak.

The collage below shows the image used in the viral post on the left and the old picture from Aaj Tak‘s coverage from 2016.

On reverse-searching few images, old news reports from 2017 can be seen mentioning the forest fires in Chile and including the image used in these viral posts.

The collage below shows the image used in the viral post on the left and the old picture from an article from 2017 in the right.

The following collage shows the old image from March 2020 which is from China and the below one shows the tweet which reused this image as Uttarakhand forest fires.
Hence, many of the images used in these viral posts are old and some from another countries which are not linked to Uttarakhand’s 2020 forest fires.
Rujuta Thete

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Rujuta Thete

A food enthusiast who loves to explore new places and is also a budding journalist with a curious mind about everything under the sun.