Bandipur forest continued to burn on Monday for the third consecutive day, reducing more wooded area to ashes.
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, The New Indian Express reported.
Tribals and around 400 forest officers have been working continuously to douse the flames and water has been ferried in trough tankers, TV reports suggested.
However, more plants, especially shrubs are being used to douse the flames, the TNIE report said.
Forest officials told media persons that the fire has become difficult to handle due to strong winds and the dry weather conditions. Also, getting the water tankers into the forest is time consuming, due to which there has been a delay in dousing the flames, reports suggested.
Forest officers from Nagarahole Reserve Forest have also been roped in to help put out the flames. Water from River Kabini is being ferried through tractors as well, the TNIE report adds.
With the fire blazing for the third day running, officials fear that it might reach treetops and destroy the forest canopy, the report adds.
According to a Times of India report, forest officials said that the fire was an â€śact of sabotageâ€ť.
The New Indian Express reported that forest officials acted on a tip-off and rushed to the spot to contain the fire.
The officials had summoned personnel from nearby parts of Chamrajnagar and Biligiri Ranga hills forest ranges to control the fire.
The fire was first noticed at around 11 am in Kalkere range on Saturday.