Wildfire destroys 200 acres of vegetation in BRT range

Wildfire destroys 200 acres of vegetation  in BRT range

A team of Forest Department personnel, daily wagers and residents of tribal hamlets, are struggling to contain a wildfire that has flared up at Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve, Punajanur forest range, in the district on Thursday morning.

More than 200 acres of vegetation are said to have been destroyed in the forest fire and the blowing winds were hampering efforts to contain the fire till evening. The Forest Department has suspected the handiwork of miscreants in the fire that started at Chikkaianagiri forest area, which has now spread to Jodigere.

The region is a grassland and is surrounded by hills. Dried lantana weeds and grass are helping the fire to spread and hampering efforts to contain the fire.

Barring minor fires, the BRT Reserve had not witnessed any major fire in the last five years. With the failure of pre- and post-monsoon showers this year, the forest and water sources have dried up, affecting wildlife.

Range Forest Officer Chandru told DH that all efforts are on to contain the wildfire. It is difficult to assess the extent of damage, he added.

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