A fire broke out at the Domalapenta forest range in Nagarkurnool district on Saturday. The man-made fire had gutted six hectares (roughly 15 acres) of dry grass. Since it was not a major fire, no wildlife was affected and none of the trees suffered major damage in the incident, according to officials.
It took six hours to put out the fire. Officials suspect that the fire was caused by an unstubbed cigarette that may have been thrown by a tourist.
The incident took place at around 12.30 pm. Within thirty minutes, the fire spread and gutted six hectares of forest. Nagarkurnool District Forest Officer, Joji, told The New Indian Express that since the fire was scattered, it was easy for them to douse it.
The DFO said that the fire was put out with the help of base camp watchers in Domalapenta forest range. He told TNIE that a tourist might have caused the fire by throwing a cigarette without stubbing it.
Speaking to news website News Meter, the DFO said that it took them six hours to douse the fire, and the forest area between Vatavalipally and Domalapenta were the most affected.
Nallamala forest is often prone to forest fires, particularly during the months of February and March, as the grass is dry. Earlier in 2015, two fire incidents were reported in the consecutive months of February and March.
In the first incident, a major forest fire broke out near China Arutla village, Kurnool. However, the fire was contained with the help of the forest officials and the Adivasis residing in the forest. In the second incident, a major fire broke in Srisailam in which vast forest tracts between Patalaganga and Akkamahadevi caves across the Krishna river were on fire. The fire spread through as there were no fire-fighting measures in place. The reason for the fire was suspected to be man-made.