Bandipur takes precautions against forest fires

Officials at the Bandipur Tiger Reserve are gearing up to take preventive measures against forest fires.

According to the latest National Tiger Conservation Authority census report, the reserve, spread across 872 sq km, houses a healthy tiger population of 105. It receives a large number of tourists during the holiday season. Bandipur Tiger Reserve Director B B Mallesh said preventive measures will be given utmost importance from February first week. This has been delayed slightly because the reserve received good rainfall in mid-January.

He said no new technology was being introduced this year and the single drone camera which was used last year will be used again for surveillance. The department will also take the help of tribals to control and keep watch on forest fires, especially in sensitive areas frequented by people, border areas and core areas.

The 600-camera traps will also be used to keep a close watch. The proposal of the Department of Ecology and Environment to station a helicopter in Mysuru for emergencies, like forest fire, which was mooted last year is yet to materialise. This is because it is a highly expensive venture, said a senior official.

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