India — Bandipur forest has witnessed first incident forest fire this season. The fire, however, was contained before it spread to other parts of the forest.
The fire was noticed in Gundre Range of Bandipura national park bordering Kerala early this week. Forest officials claimed it was ground fire and was small. An officer said they are waiting of GPS reading to know the exact extent of area destroyed by fire.
Bandipura director H C Kantharaju suspected it is an act of vengeance by miscreants perhaps from a bordering state. We have been booking cases of violations against people travelling inter-state and may be it could be an act of such people booked by us.
The fire was reported on border area of Kerala but we immediately rushed to the spot and doused it. It was a ground fire and there has been no major damage to the forest. We are assessing the extent of damage of the first fire incident in Bandipur this year.
The director said forest fires are intentional but we have geared up to tackle any emergency to protect the forest this season. We have hired nearly 230 person was watchers on temporary basis for a period of three months. The watchers have been deployed in all 12 ranges of Bandipur. This apart, we have hired additional vehicles to each range to immediately rush to spot of fire accident.
Forest staff has been equipped with wireless sets for easy communication and to facilitate any emergency operation, the official disclosed.
Summer is testing period for forest officials as even a small fire could play havoc with rich forest property. For the record, Bandipur is high tiger-density area in India.