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2.5 acres of forest in Bandipur Tiger Reserve gutted in fire

A fire broke out on Sunday in the Chamarajanagar district Karnataka has burned more than 2.5 acres of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve. Forest officials said that the fire was brought under control and no animals were harmed.

Around 2.30 pm, employees in the Moolapur Betta forest in the Bandipur range noticed the fire and the forest service had dispatched around 400 forest guards to the range. Bandipur is prone to flames due to its dry deciduous vegetation. According to officials, lantana, which is highly flammable, covers more than half of the forest.

As a precaution, the forest department has built 20 watchtowers to keep monitoring around the clock. ‘Fire engines have been deployed in sensitive areas to respond to emergencies. Awareness programmes have been held everyday and water is sprayed along the highway passing through the forest so that any untoward incident from a lighted cigarette butt does not result in a fire. The water holes have water due to the good monsoon’, an official said.

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Officials are particularly concerned about miscreants who, in their continual battles with the forest service, set fire to various parts of the forest. A fire in the Bandipur forest region burned more than 15,000 acres in 2019.


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