Bandipur forest safari cancelled for a week as fire rages on


Team Udayavani, Feb 24, 2019, 5:24 AM IST

Chamarajanagar: In the wake of the major fire that has erupted in Bandipur Tiger Reserve,  forest officials have cancelled the forest safari for a week. Over hundreds of acres of forest land has been destroyed and hundreds of wild animals were killed on Saturday, February 23.

It is gathered that dry grass and lantana weed, present across the forest, made the fire spread rapidly even into the core forest areas within a few minutes. 

The strong wind gave foresters, firemen, wildlife volunteers and villagers a tough time in bringing the blaze under control. The fire was first noticed near Mangala, Shivapura and Hundipura on Friday, informed sources.

C Jayaram, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife), state forest department said that their staffs have been working day and night to put out the flames but the strong winds are making their efforts futile. 

“We hope the conditions improve soon so that we can put out the blaze. This is a ground fire though and there is no risk of it spreading uncontrollably outside these ranges,” he added. However, reports said the fire on Saturday evening spread to the core area of the tiger reserve.

Joseph Hoover, Bangalore-based wildlife activist said that the fire has spread to the reserve’s border with Kerala’s Wayanad wildlife sanctuary. The entire tourism area in Bandipur is gutted and burnt to a cinder. they are also afraid that the fire will be causing heavy damage to the tiger reserve’s flora and fauna.” 

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