India — A fire in Uttar Pradesh’s Keitham forest, close to the state’s largest lake where thousands of migratory birds are camping, on the Agra-Delhi highway destroyed nearly two hectares of green cover, officials said on Tuesday.
The fire broke out on Monday night behind the Bear Rescue Centre, the world’s largest sloth bear centre. It was contained by early Tuesday and there were no injuries.
Divisional forest officer NK Janoo told IANS that two hectares of green cover has been destroyed. Another officer, Shiv Dayal Sharma, said preliminary investigations suggest the fire was caused by a cigarette.
Keitham lake, now called Soor Sarovar, is Uttar Pradesh’s largest lake and a sensitive zone with a bird sanctuary. These days over 50,000 migratory birds, including pelicans and flamingoes, are camping in the area.