Worry spreads as fire destroys forests across state

Last Updated 25 February 2019, 19:09 IST

Dry vegetation on nearly four acres of land was gutted near the foot of Chamundi Hill in Mysuru on Monday. Fire and Emergency Services personnel managed to douse the fire before it spread to the forest area.

District fire officer Gururaj said a major mishap was averted owing to timely intervention of the fire personnel. The fire was spreading fast and the fact that there is a petrol bunk and houses near the place had raised concerns.

He said fire accidents had increased in recent days. "On Sunday, the Fire and Emergency Services, Mysuru, received 17 calls. The department is fully equipped to tackle fire," he said.

Nearly 18 acres of forest was destroyed in fire at Basavanabetta under Cauvery wildlife sanctuary at Halagur, Mandya district. Department officials suspect that the fire was man-made. The department personnel managed to douse the fire.

There were also reports of forest fire from Mundgod taluk in Uttara Kannada district in the last 15 days. Department personnel are making efforts to douse the fire and to find out if they are due to acts of sabotage.

A fire was reported from Kappatagudda protected forest in Mundargi taluk of Gadag district on Monday evening, destroying around 30 acres.

The blaze spread fast due to the dry vegetation. It is said that the fire could be the handiwork of miscreants.

Tension prevailed for a while when forest fire broke out in Shettihalli wildlife sanctuary and Karadimatti forest area of Shivamogga taluk and in forest area near Kannangi in Mandagadde of Thirthahalli taluk in Shivamogga district on Monday. Fire fighters doused the flames with help from local residents.

The Shettihalli wildlife sanctuary is a habitat for deer, wild buffaloes and elephants. Besides, the forest has sandalwood, rosewood and teakwood.

Forest patches in and around Bengaluru city too have been lost in fire. In the last four days, fires were reported from Turahalli reserve forest, Nandi Hills and Bannerghatta National Park. According to forest officials, many non-forest patches like in Jarakbandekaval, Yelahanka and near Kadugodi reserve forest also reported fires.

(Published 25 February 2019, 16:35 IST)

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