Wildlife enthusiast and actor Randeep Hooda recently took to his social media to share, "Forest fires are a natural phenomenon that rejuvenates the forest & they happen every year..as per my research, this year #forestfires have been relatively low in #Uttarakhand so far..pls don't compare them to Australia & the Amazon & spread panic."

During an exclusive conversation with the International Business Times, India, the actor shared that with everything that has been going on in 2020, the last thing which we need to do is panic.  

Randeep Hooda

"Forest fires are natural and also man-made. These particular forest fires are most probably natural that have happened in Uttarakhand and all the pictures that are circulating there are from other places, most of them, and it is not true that Uttarakhand is under the stress of the fire. I feel that in these already depressing times, with cyclones and COVID 19, the migrant situation, another bad situation is brought forward and creating panic about what's happening in the world. It is best to not give in to these fake news, I don't know who started it. These forest fires they happen in very dry areas, some forest fires are even managed by forest departments to rejuvenate certain areas, for grass line and stuff like that for the herbivores but in this particular situation in Uttarakhand the fake news and the pictures are going on are from other parts of the world, they are not from Uttarakhand. So there's no need to panic, in fact it is raining over there and weather so far this is so far the lowest it has been compared to last year and the year before that,"  Randeep said.. 

The actor, who is also an animal lover, had spoken to forest officers from Uttarakhand when he came to know about the situation from the news. When he learnt that the news was fake he immediately tweeted about it. 

"Because I have my interest in the forest, wildlife. When I saw this I was worried because I was just developing a picture of two tigress siblings, to post as a part of my wildlife pictures which I post. When I heard this news I called up local people, forest officers, who are there on the ground, I asked them if this was true so that you know something can be done, then I was told that that is absolutely not true and that what we heard was fake news. So I felt it was really important to let people know, and it was a trending subject. When it is a trending subject everybody gives their bit of hashtags, about prayers with Uttarakhand, but this collection is another bad news, and we don't need bad news right now. We need all the good news we can get," said Randeep. 

Randeep, who made his Hollywood debut this year, with a prominent role in Extraction had a different set of plans for 2020. However, despite the lockdown and news of horrifying cyclones, he has tried to remain positive.

"Well, its a bit of a break. I was hoping to do a lot more movie, lot more work, I was hoping to go to the premiere of Extraction in Los Angeles, and I was hoping to watch the film with the film fraternity and friends together and celebrate. That's a bit of damp that none of those things happened. I definitely feel, whatever happens, happens for the best, it's very unfortunate that we are going through this pandemic, but what I see is that humanity as a whole has come together, people are helping people, they are being self-aware and aware of the problems of other people around the world and in India, with the migrant problem and the hospital issue, all those things combined we are becoming more aware and that is something we can take positively because we have to come together and fight it, all of are in this together, our religious beliefs, political beliefs, we are all humans and COVID 19 does not discriminate based on our religion, so there is a chance for us to come together. I am looking at that positive aspect of it and it is a moment where we can introspect about your lives," Randeep concluded.