Over 100 acres of forest gutted atop Chamundi Hill

Over 100 acres of forest gutted atop Chamundi Hill

Department suspects role of miscreants behind the fire

In an incident suspected to be the handiwork of miscreants, a fire gutted more than 100 acres of reserve forest atop the Chamundi Hill, here, on Tuesday. Even though efforts were on to douse the fire, it continued to spread till 9 pm, owing to high winds. However, Forest department personnel were hopeful of extinguishing the fire by night.

The fire, which was noticed around 4.30 pm, engulfed large tracts of forest on Uttanahalli side (Northern aspect) and other parts of the hill before the department personnel, with the help of Fire and Safety Services department personnel and local residents, launched efforts to extinguish it. The efforts took a hit as the fire, which appeared to be under control, began spreading around 8 pm.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Deputy Conservator of Forests V Karikalan said, some miscreants were behind the fire, as it had originated in four to five different locations at the same time. “It seems the fire was not sparked by cigarette butts. Some persons have purposefully set fire,” he said.

He said, the Northern aspect of the hill was prone to fire, compared with the Southern aspect, as the former is exposed to more sunlight, thereby increasing the pace of flora drying up during summer.

The department was yet to ascertain the extent of loss and estimated that about 40 acres might have been burnt. However, sources added that the fire had gutted at least 100 acres of forest.

Three fire tenders, 40 Forest department personnel and local residents were involved in the efforts to control the fire.

Counter fire

With the fire threatening to spread to the top of the Hill, a team of Department personnel involved in the operation set a counter fire from the top, Karikalan said. He said, firelines made by the Department atop the Hill, also controlled the fire from spreading.

Fire in Hebbal

A mobile phone tower caught fire, triggering anxious moments for sometime, near Vidyavardhaka College of Engineering (VVCE), Hebbal in the city, on Tuesday. The loss is estimated at Rs 40 lakh.

According to sources, the weeds and shrubs on the vacant land next to the tower caught fire around 12 noon. Soo, fire engulfed the generator room and the tower, with smoke billowing out in the area.

Upon receiving the information, fire personnel rushed to the spot along with fire tenders and succeeded in dousing the fire.

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