Another forest fire has been reported in Karnataka this week, this time the Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve’s Punajanur forest range went up in flames.
More than 200 acres of forest is said to have been destroyed in the forest fire on Thursday morning, an official with the forest department said.
A team comprising forest department personnel, residents of tribal villages in surrounding areas and daily wage workers have been trying to put out the fire since Thursday morning.
The forest department official said that the force of the wind has hampered the efforts of the team in putting off the fire.
The fire began in the Chikkainagiri forest area and spread to Jodigere. “Since the area has abundance of dried up grass and weeds, the fire spread quickly. The water resources and also the entire forest area have dried up due to the failure of the monsoon. The last time a forest fire had occurred in this forest was five years ago,” the official added.
Officials said that it is difficult to ascertain the level of damage caused until the fire is put out. No lives have been claimed by the fire and investigations are on for the cause of the fire.
On February 19, the Bandipur Forest fell victim to a massive forest fire. After three days of operations, the fire was put off. The fire was first noticed at around 11am in Kalkere range and one forest officer had also died. The tragedy took place at 4.30 pm.
The Forest Department had controlled the fire, which broke out in Kalkere range on Sunday. However, the fire soon engulfed neighbouring areas like Gundre and Begur by Sunday evening.
Tribals and around 400 forest officers worked continuously to douse the flames and water was ferried in through tankers.
In this instance as well, the difficulty in putting out the fire was due to the force of the wind and dry weather conditions.