Aerial survey done to ensure that no fire exists in forests. A recce was carried out in the late hours on Wednesday night (March 19) to have a first-hand assessment of the situation vis-à-vis the extent of fire.

Officials of the Defence Crisis Management on Friday claimed that the wild fire that ravaged thousands of hectares of Tirumala forests on the Seshachalam ranges has been successfully put out.

According to wing commander A.S. Parandekar (Task Force commander of the operation) the operation was called off in the evening after making sure through an aerial survey that no fire existed in the forests.

A recce was carried out in the late hours on Wednesday night (March 19) to have a first-hand assessment of the situation vis-à-vis the extent of fire, altitude in the close vicinity of the fire affected areas, and the location of water bodies besides taking stock of other relevant factors.

The modern C-130 and Mi-17 V5 helicopters with Russian-made Bambi buckets were deployed to reach the otherwise inaccessible forest areas during the two-day operation which began on Thursday afternoon. The choppers ventured in 20 sorties and roughly sprayed about 30,000 litres of water to douse the spreading fire.

Even though the bushfire to a large extent was brought under control by Thursday evening, officials resumed the operation as early as 8.30 a.m. on Friday morning to meet any kind of eventuality.

Tirupati Staff Reporter adds:

Nagging forest fires erupted once again at three different locations along the Seshachalam hills, here on Friday.

The first location was close to the pathway at Srivari Mettu, second at hill ranges in Mangalam and third erupted at the 16th hairpin bend of the first ghat road.

Fire fighting personnel, along with Vigilance sleuths and police personnel battled for nearly two hours to douse the fires at Srivari Mettu.

Chaos prevailed at the pathway, which was sealed by the officials to ensure safety of the devotees.

With these latest developments, TTD management has decided to hold back the helicopters to conduct another operating on Saturday.