India —Bangalore – The recent forest fire that was reported in wildlife ranges of Sakkarebyle, Shimoga and Sirigere was man made, Prinicipal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlige Warden B K Singh said today. Releasing a report on forest fires in 2011-12, Singh told reporters here today that during his visit to the three wildlife ranges last month, he observed that the fire was man made and no accidental fire was noticed. In many patches flowered bamboo had dried up and became the source of big fire. There are many villages within and outside the Shettihali sanctuary (Shimoga district) and most of these villages are inhabited by evacuees from ‘Sharavathi submersion’, about fifty years ago. These settlements were allowed after de-reserving the forests in valley portion and clearing the tree growth. The families in these settlements are in habit of burning the forests annually, adjoining their habitation and cultivation and extend their occupancy, according to the report. Not responding to the request of the Deputy Conservator of Forests, Wildlife Division, Shimoga to fight and extinguish the fire, these families set fire in Maleshwnkara, Shimoga Wildlife Range and adjoining Kudi of Sirigere Wildlife Range,he said. The report said on February 23, 2012, an encroacher in Alase village of Kudi (Sirigere Wildlife Range) set fire to a dry bamboo clump and could not control it and consequently the fire crossed into the adjoining forests. The intention of the encroacher was to further extend his encroachment. The fire was brought under control by the fire force department. Similarly in March, many spots in Dunkulhalla, Shettihalli and Kudi were found badly burnt.Many forest areas were also burnt in Harohitlu and Basawapur, because of high concentration of flowered bamboo, Singh said.