Large areas of forests in wildlife sanctuaries and reserves on the Western Ghats have been damaged by fires in the last three days.

Satellite imageries show that the destruction was the highest in Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary of Karnataka and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary of Kerala. Fires also occurred in and around Nagarhole National Park in Karnataka, Mudumalai National Park in Tamil Nadu, Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala and Peechi-Vazhani, Shendurney and Neyyar wild life sanctuaries in Kerala.

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Forests in Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary of Tamil Nadu and Kudremukh and Dandeli wildlife Sanctuaries in Karnataka also caught fire.

There is large number of human settlements in Shettihalli and Wayanad sanctuaries. Besides, a lot of tourists visit the Wayanad Sanctuary.

These are considered to be the main reasons for the fires in the sanctuaries besides a hot summer and dry leaves and grass on the ground that aid the spread of fires. Repeated fires often cause loss of biodiversity.