India — Bengaluru: Acres of forest land were burnt down on Sunday inside Nagarhole tiger reserve (NTR), including a teak plantation area inside the Anechowkur wildlife range, by some miscreants on Sunday morning. About 40 fire watchers battled to bring the fire under control by late afternoon.
The area is situated close to Bedarakuppe settlement and forest officials suspect that someone living close by may have torched the forest. However, till Sunday night, there was no FIR filed in this regard.
There is no point in filing an FIR as tracing the person responsible for the fire is difficult. Moreover, the forest area that was burnt did not do any harm to large trees as it was mostly dry leaves on the ground that were burnt. Sunday being salary day for many labourers who reside in the settlements, they end up drinking and passing out by the roadside which abuts the tiger reserve. Its also possible that someone might have accidentally thrown a matchstick and the dry forest area may have caught the fire, explained a senior official from Nagarhole tiger reserve.
This is not the first time that Aanechowkur has seen a forest fire this season. The Forest department was on high alert after nearly 2,000 hectares of forest patch in Nagarhole was burnt down in a fire during February-end. Last week too, two fires were reported from Anechowkur.
To fight the forest fires, NTR authorites have created ring roads around all the wildlife ranges so that watchers can attend the call quickly.