India — A major forest fire broke out in the wild ass sanctuary at Nadabet near the Indo-Pak border in Banaskantha district on Monday morning. “The fire engulfed a major part of the sanctuary spread over 2,541 hectares of the Great Rann of Kutch,” said Range forest office Tharad. The blaze which swept through the scrubland could not be extinguished even after 10 hours of firefighting by two teams.
The sanctuary is the habitat of 250 wild asses, chinkaras, blackbuck, wild boar and jackals.
“The entire region being close to the international border is a restricted area and the Nadabet region where the fire broke out is about 15 km from human population. The last villages are Jaloya and Suigam, 15 and 30 km, respectively, from Nadabet. Even the Nadeshwari temple located in the restricted area is being looked after by Border Security Force (BSF) Jawans, said the RFO.
“As such, there is no chance of the fire being set off by any local.”