Karnataka battles raging wildfire in the Bandipur forest

Karnataka intensified efforts to contain a raging wildfire in the Bandipur forest area in the Chamarajanagar district bordering Tamil Nadu, an official said on Monday.

“As the wildfire spread to about 2,000 hectares in the 874 square kilometres (sq km) Bandipur forest, around 500 guards, officials, eco-volunteers and people from the area rushed to douse the flames,” an official told IANS here.

Movement of people and vehicles, including cars, buses and trucks have been banned on the National Highway-67 and inter-state roads until further notice across Bandipur, which has a sprawling tiger habitat and is biodiversity rich as part of the eco-sensitive southern Western Ghats.

Unlike in the past or in many years, this is the first time the wildfire in Bandipur flared up earlier due to the sudden climatic change and rapid growth of dry grass and Lantana.

“There has been no reports of casualty or injury to animals, including spotted deer, bison, antelopes, elephants, tiger and leopard so far, as they would have ran into the core forest area to escape from the scorching heat and the raging fire that started on Saturday.

“Although small animals like snakes and calves would have perished caught in the blaze,” said the official.


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