Unseasonal forest fires

In the winter months when air temperatures fall below zero forest fires are a rarity in the North Indian state of Uttarakhand.

However, since the first week of November residents of the high altitude remote areas of Dharchula and Munsiyari have reported seeing smoke from forest blazes on more than six occasions.

Poachers trying to trap wild musk deer for the worldwide musk perfume trade have been accused of starting the out-of-season blazes.

Shekhar Kumar Neeraj from the World Wide Fund for Nature, said: “This is a definite approach used by poachers to trap and kill musk deer at such high altitudes.”