Forest fire erupts in srirangapattana even as bandipur blaze resurfaces

 
25 February 2017

published by http://www.thenewsminute.com


India — Another wildfire erupted in Karnataka on Friday in the Karighatta forest located in Srirangapattana taluk of Mandya district, while the forest fire resurfaced in Bandipur National Park.

Over 100 acres of vegetation containing eucalyptus trees were destroyed as fire fighters could not reach the location quickly.

The fire also destroyed two houses in the adjoining hamlets and has damaged food grains and poultry, media reports suggested.

Forest department officials, who arrived at the spot tried to control the fire, but the flames spread quickly due to the force of the wind.

“Some young men were near the forest and had come there for a picnic. They helped us put out the fire. The people in Chinnayakanahalli reported that the fire fighters did not arrive even two hours after the call was made,” said a forest department official.

Forest officials said that the fire, which started at seven places in Chikkaiahanagiri had spread to Jodigere. The police suspect it to be an arson incident.

“Officials at the reserve forest areas of the Cauvery Wildlife Sactuary and the Male Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary are on high alert as multiple forest fires have erupted within a week. The villages in the fringes of the forest are also being watched closely,” the official added.

Meanwhile, in Bandipur, the flames resurfaced on Friday evening after they were put out two days ago. “The wildfire spread across Himavad Gopalaswamy Hills located between Maddur and N Belathur,” the official added.

Over 150 forest department officials, six fire fighters and residents are still putting out the flames, the official said. The Karadial Hill, which is located between this range, had caught fire and officials suspect it to be an arson incident.

“The eucalyptus trees in a 30-acre plot and a sericulture unit were brunt to ashes in Anedoddi village in Maddur. Bags of paddy and sericulture equipment were gutted in the fire,” the official said.

No casualty has been reported and the Besagarahalli police have registered a case. Also, villagers have demanded compensation for the loss of crops and property.

The wildfire that had destroyed more than 200 acres of vegetation in the Biligiri Ranganatha Temple (BRT) tiger reserve on Thursday has been put out, the official said.