High-level committee to probe fire in Bandipur forest

High-level committee to probe fire in Bandipur forest

 Forest Minister B Ramanatha Rai said on Tuesday that a committee of higher officials will be constituted to probe into the wildfire in Kalkere forest range under Bandipur Tiger Reserve in HD Kote taluk recently.

He was speaking to reporters after visiting range forest officer Gangadhar and personnel Manu and Manju—who were injured in the fire—at a private hospital in the city on Tuesday.

The minister said the Forest personnel who are undergoing treatment for burn injuries are responding well. He termed the death of forest guard Murigeppa Thammagol as unfortunate. Rai said it had been decided to disburse a compensation of Rs 25 lakh from the Bandipur Tiger Conservation Foundation to the family of Murigeppa. A government job would be provided to one of his family members as decided at the meeting of the Wildlife Board on Monday.

“Our forest department personnel are efficient and are paid good salaries. We are in no way inferior to other states in terms of the equipment for dousing forest fires. We cannot compare forest fires here with those in European countries. There, forest fires take months together for dousing. The situation is not so bad here. The fire is coming under control. The extent of damage to vegetation and ecology can be assessed once the fire is doused,” he said.

“It is reported that dead wood and lantana are the main cause for the fire in the forest. We cannot remove dried or dead wood as it is part of the food chain of the forest ecology.

Lantana will grow even if it is removed. Ways and means are being explored to find a permanent solution to check wildfires,” Rai said.

District in-charge minister Dr H C Mahadevappa accompanied him during the visit to the hospital.

Fire in Bhadra reserve forest

A forest fire in Mutthodi range in Bhadra reserve forest reduced a large area of forest into ashes in Chikkamagaluru on Tuesday, reports DHNS from Chikkamagaluru. The forest was noticed at Yelunurukhan Hill in Attigundi. It later spread to Sigekhan in Mutthodi range by evening. The Forest personnel are trying to douse the fire.  It is said that there was no fire line in this region. According to locals, there are not enough forest watchers in the region. However, the forest fire has been brought under control at night, according to DCF Chandranna.

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