Strong winds hamper extinguishing process; Six fire-fighting vehicles, 80 personnel conduct dousing operation
Mysore/Mysuru: Fire has destroyed over 10 acres of forest area on the road leading to Uttanahalli from Lalithadripura atop Chamundi Hill yesterday afternoon. It is learnt that some miscreants had lit the fire which spread soon due to strong winds.
The fire was noticed at about 1.30 pm yesterday by Fire watchers deployed at Jwalamukhi Hill, who immediately informed their counterparts and the same was also informed to the Fire Department, which rushed six fire extinguishing vehicles to the spot.
As the fire extinguishing operation began, strong winds which began to blow hampered the operation, which also resulted in fire spreading to other places. More than 80 Fire and Forest staff, along with six fire extinguishing vehicles, 10 motorised water sprayers and volunteers managed to douse the fire, which took them about four hours. Finally, the fire was completely doused at about 6 pm last evening.
Though enough awareness to prevent forest fires was conducted at various villages at the foot of Chamundi Hill, requesting the public to join hands with the Forest Department to prevent fires, the act of miscreants lighting fire to forest areas has saddened the Forest officials.
Following huge fire, movement of all types of vehicles including KSRTC buses were banned from 1.50 pm to 4.30 pm yesterday as a precautionary measure.
Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) Dr. K.C. Prashanth Kumar said “the fire was lit intentionally by miscreants. The fire which began on Lalithadripura Road at the foot of Chamundi Hill spread quickly due to strong winds. The fire has been completely controlled at present. A Jathra (fair) is going on at a village on the foot of Chamundi Hill and it is suspected that some who had come to the Jathra may have lit the fire.”
Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF)- Mysuru Circle T. Heeralal and Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) Dr. K.C. Prashanth Kumar supervised the extinguishing operation. Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Krupanidhi, Range Forest Officers (RFO) Prashanth Kumar and M.K. Devaraju, Deputy Range Forest Officers (DRFO) M.V. Venkatachala, A.S. Manju, T.E. Vijaya Kumar, Prakash and others took part in the dousing operation.
Fire at B.R. Hills too
In a suspected act by miscreants, hundreds of acres of the Tiger Reserve are at Biligiri Ranganatha Hills (B.R. Hill) has been gutted yesterday.
The fire has destroyed flora and fauna at Bili Gudda, Karadi Gudda, Golle Gudda, Muddisidda Gudda and surroundings of Arepalya village in Kollegal taluk. As most of the places were dry due to summer, the fire quickly spread and strong winds escalated the fire further.
Forest officials have suspected that some miscreants may have lit fire to the forest area and added that steps were taken to douse the fire completely with the help of Forest staff and volunteers.