About 400 acres of forest land went up in flames.

Forest guard dies fighting fire at Bandipur National ParkRepresentational image| Kari Greer/wikimedia commons
news Enviornment Sunday, February 19, 2017 - 15:19

A forest fire in the Bandipur National Park claimed the life of a Karnataka forest guard and injured three others on Saturday.

He was taken to a hospital after he fell unconscious. A doctor confirmed that he died of asphyxiation.

The Hindu quoted Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Ranga Rao saying that Range Forest Officer Gangadhar and two other watchers hired from the local tribal colony were admitted to the hospital after they were injured during the operation.

The deceased has been identified as Murugappa Gouda Thammannanavar hailing from Sindagi taluk in Vijayapura district of Karnataka.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) BG Hosmath told The Hindu that the fire was first noticed at around 11 am in Kalkere range and the tragedy took place at 4:30 pm.

He was posted in Moleyur forest range of the Bandipur National Park in 2010.

According to The Times of India report, forest officials said that the fire was an “act of sabotage”.

Murugappa was one of the forest officials who were attending the fire after 400 acres of the forest land went up in flames.

The New Indian Express reported forest officials acted on a tip-off and rushed to the spot to contain the fire.

The officials had summoned personnel from nearby Nagarahole, parts of Chamrajnagar and Biligiri Ranga hills forest ranges to control the fire.

Local tribals also helped the forest officials helped tackle the situation, the report added.

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