Prime News, State (Bandipur), February 23:- A major fire has broken out in the forest areas of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve on Saturday. The fire, which had begun on Thursday, continued to spread on Saturday in spite of the efforts of fire fighting officials who are on the spot. Officials on ground estimate that hundreds of acres of forest areas have been destroyed by the fire.
The fire has spread across Kundakere, Bandipur and Gopalaswamy Betta range of the tiger reserve aided by strong winds which helped propel it.
“We are working around the clock to stop the fire but the efforts have been affected by strong winds. We are yet to ascertain the damage to the wildlife in the tiger reserve,” a senior forest official said.
The officials expect that it will take two more days at least to contain the fire but played down concerns of the fire spreading uncontrollably outside the forest range.
There are around a hundred officials of the fire and forest department fighting the flames with the help of local residents including tribals. However, the firefighters are unable to reach the core forest areas and are fighting strong winds which are helping the fire spread.
“There have been no eye-witness accounts yet reporting damage to wildlife but we expect the damage is bad since the fire has spread to the core forest areas. Deer were seen running away from the fire. This is also breeding season for reptiles and there are ground-nesting which we expect will be affected,” an activist present at the spot said.(MR, Inputs: Agencies).