India, April 9 -- Uttarakhand is battling one of the worst episodes of forest fires since it became a separate state in 2000. According to the state forest department, there have been 989 fire incidents between October 1, 2020 and April 4, 2021, destroying around 1,297.43 hectares of rich, biodiverse forests. Taking suo moto cognisance of the calamity, the Uttarakhand High Court, on Tuesday, asked the senior-most forest official of the state to explain the preparedness of the department and measures that have been taken over the years to control fires, and asked the state government to explore the possibility of using artificial rain to douse forest fires, and directed it to extinguish the fires in two weeks. Since 2000, forest fires have...